Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

Pinellas schools chief Grego draws high marks in first evaluation

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CLEARWATER — Michael Grego is Pinellas County’s third superintendent of schools in as many years, but his first job evaluation shows that School Board members think he is on the right track.

Grego, 56, met with each School Board member to hear feedback on his evaluation and scored an average of four or higher in each category on a scale of five. At Tuesday’s School Board workshop, School Board members will discuss the evaluation and the raise Grego’s contract says he is entitled to for a satisfactory rating. If the raise follows the 5 percent increase given to teachers, school district administrators and other personnel, it would increase his $240,000 base salary by about $12,000.

School Board members rated Grego on a scale of unsatisfactory to outstanding on qualities such as integrity, work standards and rapport-building, along with five strategic goals: increasing student achievement; improving curriculums and assessments; developing a healthy, respectful and safe learning environment; efficiently using school district resources and providing quality technology and business services.

School Board members Linda Lerner, Peggy O’Shea and Terry Krassner gave Grego perfect ratings in each category. Chairwoman Carol Cook gave him perfect marks in every category but technological advancements, and Robin Wikle gave perfect marks in all but two categories — improvements to student achievement and efficient use of resources.

Janet Clark gave Grego fours on each of the district’s goals, saying his performance “meets expectations” but gave Grego perfect marks for integrity, work standards and rapport-building.

“Many changes have been implemented to improve student achievement, and improvements are beginning to become apparent,” Clark said in her evaluation. “This is a baseline score from me, and I have no doubt that you (and we) are on the right path for improvement.”

Rene Flowers gave Grego his lowest mark — a three that was “acceptable” in the area of business services and technology — and said the school district was “working towards the superintendent’s vision of technological efficiency throughout the district.” Cook agreed that the school district needs to be more focused on “digital learning.”

Flowers also said Grego, “does select staff qualified for key positions,” but would like to see him promote from within than hire from outside the school system.

When it came to Grego’s integrity, all School Board members gave him a perfect score, and comments throughout the evaluation called him a “gentleman,” a “champion” and a “man of his word.” In her evaluation, Cook praised Grego’s “devotion to students” and said he is “one of the best, if not the best, superintendents in the state.”

“For the first time since I’ve been on the board, I am comfortable with and excited by our leadership,” Clark said in her evaluation.

Grego said his conversations with School Board members were “very positive” and will help him prioritize initiatives for this school year.

“I think we do have some additional work to do,” Grego said. “If there’s 100 some odd things to do, we need to identify our biggest priority and work down the list. Much of my first year was spent trying to implement programs that were going to have the biggest impact.”

Also at Tuesday’s workshop, School Board members will hear an update on the 2013-2014 budget, outline legislative priorities for next year and discuss changes to administrative salaries. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. in the Cabinet Conference Room of the School Administration Building, 301 Fourth St. S.W., Largo.

adawson@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-9851

Twitter: @adawsonTBO

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