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Vitti June 2013 In response to the categories set forth in the Superintendent Evaluation Tool; the information below describes activities or evidence of the respective indicator. A. Relationships with the Board 1. Keeps the Board informed on issues, needs, operations in a timely manner – 9.0 As Superintendent, I have ensured that the Board is notified immediately of any and all issues or concerns as they arise. This includes daily updates of all media interviews and inquiries as well as the immediate notification of any school site situation. Protocol has been developed whereby the entire Board receives an email regarding any school or personnel related issue and the Board member assigned to that district receives a personal call from either the Superintendent or a member of the Cabinet. To date, nearly 200 emails have been sent to the entire Board to inform them of updates, issues, and/or concerns. In addition, over the past seven months, there have been 6 Committee Meetings and 13 workshops to review information with Board Members. I have met with each Board Member individually for one-on–one meetings on multiple occasions. To date, there have been over 40 one-on-one meetings lasting a total of more than 50 hours. In addition, over 7,000 minutes have been spent on the phone speaking with individual Board Members on various issues and needs. 2. Provides for development of goals and objectives aligned to Board priorities – 8.0 The focus of this year was not on the development of goals and objectives linked to Board priorities per my contract. Goals and Objectives linked to Board priorities will be a focus as we move into 2013-2014. Targets will be set for the Strategic Plan once 2012-2013 School Grades are released. The goals and objectives of the board were the focus of the strategic plan and the 2013-2014 budget. 3. Remains impartial toward Board Members according all the same treatment – 9.0 I have attempted to develop individual relationships with Board Members that focus on open lines of communication and transparency. I have made myself available at all times, to all Board Members, for phone conversations or one on one meetings. I have strived to make each Board Member feel that their opinion is valued, respected, and heard. 4. Has a harmonious working relationship with the Board – 8.0 I have messaged to all stakeholders that the Board and I are partners in the improvement of the District. I have reached out to Board Members to partner with me on issues and concerns related to their community and the District as a whole. I have invited Board Members to speak with me at Town Hall meetings, Community Meetings, and CPAC Meetings. In addition, we have had 3 Board Development Meetings focusing on improving the Board/Superintendent relationship. 5. Understands his/her role in administration of Board Policy – 9.0 We have ensured that all Committee Meetings and Workshops begin with a governance session whereby the Board and Superintendent can discuss issues and concerns, primarily those involving the role of the Superintendent versus that of the Board. As a result of these meetings, decisions are made to ensure that both the Board and Superintendent are working together to improve the district.
6. Makes recommendations and accepts responsibility for them – 10.0 Throughout my first seven months, each decision I have made has been done with one priority in mind: doing what is best for children. Most of the decisions I have made have been embraced by both the Board and the community while a few have not. Each time, I have accepted responsibility for them as my own whether they are popular or unpopular. Some examples include: i. In a short time, I have made a number of recommendations regarding employee discipline from suspension to demotion to termination through a fair and consistent approach. These recommendations have included former cabinet members, school based administrators, teachers, and non-instructional staff. Some were challenged and questioned, however, the recommendations were based on the need to increase accountability for all employees and raise the bar of expectations for our school district. ii. Supporting the rights of the Oceanway student despite her mistakes and the threat of lawsuits and negative media reports. iii. Revising the Schultz contract to streamline costs and own professional development. Changes were recommended despite some pushback. iv. Phase I and II Reorganizations. Personnel changes were made to shift resources from the district level to the classroom, enhance human capital, reduce duplication, develop the whole child, upgrade safety and security, and streamline costs. Despite questions, there was a need to recruit outside talent while promoting talent within the organization. v. Supporting our partnership with Justice Teaching at Cedar Hills despite negative media attention. vi. Collection of i-Pads from administrators. Unpopular among school-based administrators but I felt important considering that too many of our students do not have access to technology. vii. The decision to change the four-day work week over the summer to a five-day work week. Upon review of the district calendar, I learned that the district office shifted to a four-day work week over the past few summers. I felt that in order to maximize our time to plan for 2013-2014 and increase employee productivity, it would be best to remain on the standard five-day work week. Upon consulting the Board, the information was passed on to employees. While the majority of employees agreed with this decision, some did not; however, I feel that this decision was necessary to prepare for the upcoming school year. 7. Willingly implements Board decisions even if it is not his her recommendation – 9.0 I have been fortunate that the Board and I have agreed on most of the recommendations that I have made. However, there are three particular examples which the Board did not agree with an initial recommendation and willingly implemented it: i. The reinstatement of Magnet Transportation prior to Magnet Mania and the budget development process. I planned to message that Magnet Transportation would be reinstated and an email was sent stating such. When three Board Members stated that they were uncomfortable with this, the decision was reversed until after the first Board Budget Workshop. ii. The posting of the Director of Art position after the committee meeting but prior to Board approval. When two Board Members shared their concern regarding this decision, the posting was pulled and the position was not advertised until after the board meeting. iii. Also, when a Board Member raised concerns about the minimum qualifications for the Director of Art position, the minimum qualifications were revised based on the recommendation by the Board Member.
iv. Throughout the Budget Development Process, there was much discussion regarding the amount of funding that should be set aside as reserve. The Board made recommendations ranging from 7% - 9%. Throughout this process, I continued to feel that this amount was too high and we should set the reserve at 5-6% in order to fund more initiatives related to technology; however, upon the advice of the Board, the reserve remained at 7% for 2013-2014. 8. Feels free to maintain opposition to matters until decision is reached – 10.0 I have and will always stand for what I believe is in the best interest of students and the district. One such example was the recent request for the names, race/ethnicity, and salaries attached to personnel who were being non-reappointed. As part of the budget process, I sent immediately upon request, the positions that were being eliminated and the funding attached to those positions. I did not, however, feel that it was necessary to send the names attached to those positions until after July 1st when the final Phase II Reorganization was complete. I felt that this information could negatively impact the employees listed until their final placement was determined; however, at the direction of the Board, the list was sent.
B. Stakeholder Focus and Satisfaction 1. Involves all stakeholders in a continuing system of planning – 9.0 I have engaged stakeholders throughout the district and community regarding many key district decisions. This started with seven town hall meetings, employee focus groups, and culminated with the development of the strategic plan. The strategic plan vetting process included over 10 community meetings during which stakeholders were invited to provide feedback and make recommendations. Another example was the numerous principal meetings throughout the budget process. 2. Provides a process for determining customer requirements and expectations – 9.0 In order to ensure that all Board and Constituent Requests are responded to in a timely manner, the Board Member Request (BMR) and Constituent Services Request (CR) process was redeveloped. All responses are now sent directly from the Superintendent. Staff is contacted to provide follow up and response; however, all responses are forwarded and personally read by the Superintendent prior to sending. This process ensures that the Superintendent is aware of all concerns and issues that arise and will be able to respond or follow up as necessary. Monthly status updates are sent to the Board and the system was upgraded to allow Board Members to track their requests in a timely manner. In addition, Town Hall Meetings were scheduled upon my entry in each Board Member’s district in order to allow constituents to share concerns and recommendations. An opportunity exists to upgrade access to surveys for all customers next year to track the perception of initiatives and service. 3. Provides a clear set of strategies for parents/community to support the district – 8.0 In addition to Town Hall Meetings, a revised CR/BMR system and personally addressing each response email to parents, I have ensured that I am available to meet with various stakeholder groups during their regularly scheduled meetings. I meet monthly with the PTA General Group as well as the PTA Board of Managers. I have also attended numerous community meetings with the NAACP, JPEF, LULAC, and other agencies in order to give both parents and the community an opportunity to support the district and share their thoughts and concerns about possible initiatives and ways to improve the district. I introduced the vision for a district-wide Parent Academy, which will be operational in the fall. The Academy will allow the district to provide a clearer set of strategies for parents.
4. Maintains a highly visible profile in the community and schools – 10.0 I feel that one of my most important roles is to be visible in the community and schools. This was a key strategy in my 100-day plan. I have been actively engaged with faith based groups, non-profits, schools, community agencies, business partners, and local officials. I have served as the face and voice of the district through the media regarding positive and negative issues. 5. Provides opportunities for community/parents/students/staff to provide input – 9.0 I have encouraged all stakeholders to email me personally with concerns, issues, and recommendations. I personally read and respond to each email. While I engage staff, I feel that stakeholders value hearing directly from the Superintendent. This input has been valuable to me when making decisions as well as in considering the input of stakeholders involving the status of the district. This process was best represented through town hall meetings. I have engaged district staff in focus groups and included students in the strategic planning process. 6. Systems are in place to monitor internal/external perceptions of the district – 8.0 As stated above, the CR system was updated in order to respond to internal and external concerns in a timely manner. Since my entry in November, over 900 BMRs and CRs have been responded to in a timely manner to ensure that stakeholder concerns are addressed. In addition, focus groups were held with teachers, school site administrators, and students to gather opinions and ideas as well as listen to issues and concerns. In addition, an in-house marketing department was developed to positively highlight the school district and improve the external perception of DCPS. Moving forward, we must do a better job of polling our internal and external stakeholders to determine if service and initiatives are effective. 7. Seeks to expand/continue positive relationships with external agencies – 10.0 As part of my 100-day plan, I reached out to all external agencies that support the district and met with each one personally to understand the current partnerships with our district and to ensure alignment to our new strategic plan including United Way, JPEF, Community in Schools, TFA, City Year, The Bridge, etc. I also actively engaged our Duval Delegation to expand external relationships by improving our district’s status in Tallahassee and assisted in developing positive legislation associated with graduation requirements and the use of instructional materials. I also partnered with donors to raise $50 million for district-wide initiatives focusing on human capital. In addition, I have strengthened the relationship between the district and mayor. 8. Parents, staff, students report feeling safe and respected in schools – 7.0 Parents and students are feeling a renewed sense of safety in schools in light of the tragedies occurring throughout the country in schools. They feel that our plan for SROs as well as school safety initiatives is making a difference. However, this area needs improvement as we look to 2013-2014. 9. Level of school discipline/safety is improving compared to similar districts- 8.0 Upon my entry, a new district emergency plan was developed, including expanding the placement of School Resource Officers to K-8 Centers and Douglas Anderson as well as making daily visits to elementary schools. DECON radios were also purchased for communication during emergencies. Planning for next year has included a dedicated district administrator to oversee school safety, a Dean of Discipline and in-school suspension teacher at all secondary schools, and security guards in all schools. We also intend to revisit the Code of Conduct and will train all administrators, teachers, and students in its implementation this Fall.
C. Staff and Organizational Relationships 1. Provides mechanisms to facilitate appropriate staffing levels to meet priorities – 9.0 Developed and implemented Phase One and Two Reorganization plan that streamlines personnel and eliminates duplicative positions within the district. Developed a staff allocation plan for all schools focusing on school improvement, the Development of the Whole Child, and the equable distribution of resources. Revamped district organization to focus on instructional support while maintaining the strength of support for maintenance and facilities. 2. Treats all personnel fairly, insisting on perf of duties, adherence to contracts – 10.0 Demonstrated willingness to hold all personnel accountable from cabinet to school based non-instructional staff. Ensured contracted positions fulfilled requirements through additional coordination, and accountability. 3. Delegates responsibility, authority to appropriate staff, holds each accountable – 8.0 Cabinet positions were filled and adjusted with a highly talented, diverse staff that has come from both inside and outside of the district. These individuals are held accountable daily and are empowered and supported to lead their divisions. All Cabinet Members have dedicated weekends, evenings, and vacations to complete work necessary to move the district forward. 4. Assesses and monitors the improvement of staff and leadership team members – 8.0 I constantly check in with the cabinet to monitor the district’s workflow and to problem solve with tasks. However, the demands of restructuring the district have not allowed me to focus as much on internal professional development. This focus will improve next year. 5. Encourages participation of appropriate staff and groups in planning – 9.0 Throughout the Budget and Strategic Planning process, staff from multiple divisions were brought together to develop a plan of action. This included Cabinet, Senior Staff, and district administrators. Cabinet meets regularly to prepare for board agendas and workshops or to work through unexpected issues. Tasks are appropriately delegated and I often check in to problem solve to ensure projects are completed. As we move into the next year, I look forward to releasing more responsibility to staff to drive projects. 6. Makes appropriate staff changes in a timely manner - 10.0 Over the past seven months, I have addressed many personnel matters swiftly and in a balanced approach to increase much needed accountability. Several examples include: i. The former principal of Baldwin Middle Senior who was demoted for failure to maintain a safe learning environment. Upon completion of a swift investigation, the principal was demoted to an Assistant Principal position. ii. The former principal of Windy Hill Elementary who did not follow proper testing procedures. Although this occurred prior to my arrival, the case was pending and not closed. Upon learning of the report and the investigation, a decision was made to demote the Principal. iii. Personnel decisions including cabinet level positions and school level employees were made swiftly and thoroughly, including the former Director of Communications and Executive Director of ESE. iv. A significant number of personnel changes were also made through the Phase I and II Reorganizations to eliminate duplication and inefficiency to maximize resources. This included Schools of Choice and the Cluster Offices moving under Academic Services, Risk Management shifting to HR, and Federal Programs being aligned to Budget Services.
D. Educational Leadership 1. Understands/keeps informed regarding all aspects of the instructional program – 10.0 A number of reforms demonstrated the ability to understand and stay informed regarding instructional programs and issues. Some examples include: i. Upon review of the K-2 retention plan, I spoke with staff in Academic Services and Accountability and Assessment to determine if the plan was effective. When analyzing the data, there was a clear disconnect between the plan and the results that were achieved. In working with the Board, the K-2 Retention Plan was revised to remove language that was resulting in student retention based on a stand-alone test. ii. Discontinued the use of Compass Learning for course recovery for 2013-2014 iii. Replaced FAIR as the district’s reading diagnostic tool iv. Identified a core literacy and instructional program for district VPK programs v. Reduced and eliminated excessive and duplicated assessments vi. Expanded dual enrollment opportunities by engaging FSCJ vii. Revised Learning Schedules and Assessments for second semester when it was identified that the former schedules did not align with the new standards viii. Developed overage intervention strategy for 2013-2014 ix. Constructed teams to revise curriculum guides for accountability areas and assessments. Both will be aligned next year. x. Developed Second 800 Point tracking system to assist high schools 2. Has a process to evaluate the effectiveness of district/school improvement planning – 8.0 Although this was a challenge this year due to inadequate district assessments, I developed the Problem-solving through Assessments, Collaboration, and Teamwork (PACT) process which brought together the cabinet and principals to review academic data and problem solve to address issues. This process informed my decisions regarding instructional programs, materials, and assessments. 3. Develops/maintains a proactive agenda for school improvement – 10.0 Despite focusing on my entry planning when assuming my new role as superintendent, I quickly developed and implemented a proactive, reform agenda focused on school improvement, which not only included the items listed in number 1 under instructional leadership but we also developed plans for the following strategies and initiatives: i. Common Planning was instituted at all schools for the 2013-2014 school year, which will allow for departmental planning as well as job-embedded professional development ii. A district curriculum team of content area experts were recruited both internally and externally to drive the work of administrators and coaches at the school site. iii. Revised Schultz Leadership plan to emphasize job embedded training and experience iv. Restructured budget to ensure that a Reading Coach would be placed at all traditional schools other than dedicated magnets and that a Math Coach would be placed at schools with low proficiency scores in Math. 4. Examines/communicates/addresses achievement gaps among student groups – 9.0 I constantly request data to analyze trends and gaps. My opening presentations to stakeholders focused on the district’s level of achievement v. large district counte rparts and state averages. Board meetings have been used to highlight our improvement in narrowing the achievement gap (i.e. graduation rates) but also highlighting where improvement is necessary. Plans have been made to address the continuing gap through the expansion of early childhood, spreading City Year in lower-performing schools, aligning curriculum guides with assessments, and expanding technology through QZAB in high-poverty schools.
5. Articulates his/her high educational vision/motivates staff, parents, students, etc. – 10.0 At the start of each Board Meeting, the Superintendent’s report includes information on the status of the district. The purpose of the report is to share key information with all stakeholders. In addition, emails have been sent to teachers prior to FCAT to motivate staff as well as when data was released to congratulate them on a job well done. At numerous speaking events, staff, parents, and students comment on the district’s new and improved vision and energy. 6. Organizes planned program of staff development/improvement –10.0 A Teacher and Coach Academy was developed for the summer of 2013 in order to train all employees on the work moving into 2013-2014. i. The Coach Academy will create a pool of qualified candidates to serve as school site coaches in 2013. During the Academy, potential coaches will be trained on guiding and supporting the work of teachers, providing effective professional development, conducting lesson study, and training for other job responsibilities of school-site coaches. Training will be conducted by the district curriculum team. ii. The Teacher Academy is a week-long training that will train all teachers in accountability areas, including Pre K, on the new curriculum guides as well as provide overall instructional guidance as we enter 2013-2014. Training will be provided by the district curriculum team as well as the newly selected coaches based on the Coach Academy. 7. Provides a leadership role to achieve high morale – 9.0 Morale is improved when employees know that the Superintendent is engaged and proactive. This certainly was the case upon entry but morale at the district level has waned due to the upcoming reorganization. Morale has improved among teachers. To raise morale I have: i. Regular communication with teachers and principals via email. All emails that go to principals or all employees come directly from the Superintendent to ensure accurate information is given as well as to show employees that the Superintendent is involved with the day to day operation of the district. This allows employees to respond directly to me with concerns or share their thoughts about the information being presented. ii. Employees are encouraged to email me directly with concerns if they are uncomfortable addressing it with their direct supervisor. This has led to teachers feeling supported and understanding that I am in touch with school site personnel. Each email is read and responded to personally by the Superintendent. iii. I have welcomed teachers to schedule meetings with me personally to discuss concerns or career aspirations. I do not require a chain of command if an employee feels they need to share a personal concern. This has led to employees realizing that I have an open door policy and really do take an interest in their opinions. iv. The 100 Day plan included focus groups with nearly all employee groups to listen to concerns and make adjustments including Town Hall meetings In addition, morale in the community and among stakeholders is high as evidenced by the release of the Education and Workplace Survey indicating that Duval County Public Schools recently showed one of the larger increases in optimism regarding its strategic direction.
8. Asserts his/her leadership skills in troubled areas of the school district – 10.0 Upon entry, I completed an analysis of areas that I felt were a concern. I gathered this information from personal observation as well as by speaking to both internal and external stakeholders through a SWOT analysis. Below are some of the areas that I have asserted my leadership in troubled areas: i. School Safety – a major concern to many parents and students. As noted above, an emphasis was placed on this area including the development of a new emergency plan and spreading SROs across the district. ii. Employee Discipline - Limited accountability for employee conduct. Employees have been disciplined in a fair but expedient way and disciplinary measures have been consistent. iii. Media Relations – In order to ensure that the district was properly represented by the media; special emphasis was placed on building relationships with all media outlets. My first day consisted of a media day, including press conferences and question and answer sessions. I have continued to be open and available to the media to ensure that the voice of the superintendent is the one that is heard throughout the county and that a common message is used. I have conducted over 50 media interviews both print and television and made myself available to the media even when confronting difficult issues. iv. Mayor– In order to ensure that the relationship with the district and the City is positive; a strong effort was placed on rebuilding a relationship with the Mayor and his Education Commissioner. We partnered on several initiatives, including the Education Summit. v. JPEF – Upon entry, I was informed by both internal and external stakeholders that the relationship between the district and JPEF was strained. As a key partner to the district, it became important for me to bridge the relationship. To facilitate this, monthly meetings were scheduled with Trey Csar to discuss issues and concerns. In addition, the district partnered with JPEF and their One by One Campaign in the development and marketing of the Strategic Plan as well as other important initiatives that affect the district, such as QEA, QZAB, and the P.E.P. Rally. vi. Professional Development- A clear concern existed with multiple sources providing training to schools including the Schultz Center, clusters, PD office, state, and schoolbased coaches. This was streamlined for the following year through the recruitment of internal and external candidates and the development of a team of content area experts in reading, writing, math, science, Social Studies, CTE, ESOL, and ESE to provide instructional support district-wide. vii. Morale-This area improved with reducing testing at the school level and engaging stakeholders throughout the district and community about the challenges facing the district in a transparent but proactive approach. viii. Budget-Concerns rested with the inefficient use of Federal Programs and “burn rate”. Questions also lingered about the extent of the surplus. These issues were tackled through the budget development process through zero-based budgeting where every funding structure was analyzed and funding was directly linked to the strategic plan. ix. District Organization-Multiple examples of duplication in positions and instructional support. A Cluster configuration that was not heavily respected and expensive. These concerns were addressed during the Phase I and II Reorganization. x. Curriculum Guides and Assessments-Learning schedules were not aligned to assessments and not valued by administrators or teachers. These were revised and upgraded for 2013-2014.
E. Fiscal Leadership 1. Preparation of the annual budget reveals careful analysis – 9.0 A difficult and rigorous process was used to implement a zero-based budget approach to create the most efficient budget possible that was aligned to the strategic plan. This allowed me to turn over all aspects of the budget and ensure that all funds were maximized and itemized. During this process, specific attention was paid to the following: i. Surplus Funds – In order to maximize the budget, a careful analysis was done of the current surplus funds. This included breaking down the funds into both restricted and non-restricted to strategically maximize initiatives, reduce the impact on general revenue, and still allow for a 7% reserve. A great deal of transparency was also exercised to allow this to occur. ii. Federal Funds – A complete analysis was done regarding the use of all federal funds. Throughout this analysis it was clear that these funds were not being optimized. iii. Four budget conferences were used to deconstruct the budget from the bottom-up to not only reveal inefficiencies and duplications but to also align to new initiatives for the next school year. 2. Has a process for guiding budget – 9.0 In order to ensure compliance with all district and state deadlines, a Budget Timeline was produced and shared at the first Budget Workshop. This document was updated throughout the process to ensure that all TRIM Calendar dates are met and that schools are prepared and staffed for the opening of the 2013-2014 school year. The deep analysis of the budget and its redevelopment has required a tight calendar to make all deadlines for the opening of school. 3. Aligns budget with strategic plan – 10.0 When developing the 2013-2014 budget, alignment to the Strategic Plan was a priority. This included: i. Each initiative in the budget is directly aligned with a Strategic Plan goal. This is noted on the chart that was provided at all budget meetings. ii. The school allocation plan focuses on the Goal of “Developing the Whole Child” by funding art, music, and PE teachers in all elementary schools and art and music teachers in all middle schools. In addition, the entire School Allocation Plan is based around the goal of providing an Equitable and Efficient Use of Resources to all schools. 4. Establishes both a short-term and long-range capital improvement plan – 9.0 A Board workshop was held to discuss Capital Budget in regard to long and short term goals. In addition, at that workshop, a joint decision was made to fund the Douglas Anderson improvement project. Additionally long and short term capital goals have been discussed through Board Workshops and are incorporated in the Capital Budget. 5. Maintains accurate financial records /implements internal/external audit systems – 8.0 Upon entry, one clear financial issue was the inability to properly track and maintain contracts. As a result, a system was created for 2013-2014 to ensure that all contracts are accounted for and documented in one office to allow them to be tracked effectively. This process will continue to be streamlined in order to ensure that accurate records are kept of all contracts with the district. 6. Secures goods and services at a fair, reasonable cost, implements cost-savings steps – 10.0 Reduced and eliminated contracts that are duplicative to work being done throughout the district. In addition, several contracts, including the Schultz Center and the Bridge, were renegotiated for 2013-2014 to ensure that district does not overpay for outside services and that services are streamlined to district priorities.
7. Communicates the current and projected fiscal needs of DCPS to the Board – 10.0 Budget update presentations are conducted at each Board Workshop as well as each Budget Committee Meeting to ensure that the district is aware of current and projected fiscal needs. In addition, unexpected changes to the budget are communicated to the Board through email such as the JEA rebate that was received which resulted in a credit to the district. 8. Consults with Board on unusual needs and expenditures – 9.0 As unusual needs arise, I ensure that this information is shared with the Board. Examples of this have included: i. SROs – In order to allow all secondary schools (including K-8 centers) to have a full-time SRO, there was a need to hire additional police officers. Prior to posting the vacancies, I spoke with the Board regarding this expense and their opinion of funding the positions in the interest of student safety. ii. DECON Radios – In order to facilitate our school emergency plan, it was necessary to purchase DECON radios. In an effort to receive these goods as soon as possible, this needed to be done prior to the Board Meeting. An email was sent to the Board requesting permission to purchase the radios and as a result schools received them in a timely fashion. 9. Reports to the Board on the financial condition of DCPS in a timely manner – 10.0 Monthly financial reports are provided to the Board at each Board meeting to ensure that Board members are kept up to date on the financial condition of the district.
F. Personal Qualities 1. Exercises sound judgment in arriving at decisions – 10.0 Decisions are made every day with one value in mind; doing what is right by students. Every decision I make, every day, is made in the best interest of students. 2. Communicates effectively when speaking/writing, maintains poise – 10.0 The Superintendent is the face of the district. In order to ensure that the district is always represented in a positive light, I ensure that regardless of the situation I maintain poise and remain calm. i. In dealing with the media, I am have always maintained a proactive and problem solving approach. ii. When dealing with parents, I have always ensured that I remain poised, calm, and polite. This has occurred several times in Town Hall Meetings when upset parents confronted me regarding an issue and I continually responded calmly, appropriately, and directed that parent to a staff member who would be able to assist them. This often occurs at Board Meetings when I direct an upset parent to the correct avenue for assistance while remaining calm for all other stakeholders. iii. When communicating via writing, I pride myself in ensuring that all written communication (emails, letters to parents, news releases, etc.) are well written, grammatically correct, convey the appropriate message, and directly answer the question if applicable.
3. Maintains prof development by reading, coursework, attending conferences, etc. – 9.0 Maintained a level of professional development and growth by participating in or presenting at: i. National City Year Conference as a speaker ii. Keynote speaker at the Florida Sterling Education Summit iii. Panelist at the Commissioner’s Conference on Charter Schools iv. Presentation to the State Legislature on Graduation Pathways v. Participation in Superintendent’s Meeting with Commissioner Bennett on Common Core vi. Presented at over 40 local business luncheons and meetings with various stakeholders 4. Demonstrates his/her ability to work well with individuals and groups – 10.0 Collaborative planning with several key stakeholders such as JPEF, Mayor’s Office, Duval Delegation, and nonprofits in an effort to improve the district and move initiatives forward. 5. Defends principle/convictions in the face of pressure and partisan influence – 10.0 Throughout the past seven months, several situations have arisen that have faced much pressure and partisan influence including: i. Cedar Hills – Justice Teaching lesson on constitutional rights – Conducted a full investigation which resulted in the determination that the teacher had no fault in the situation. Responded to all media inquiries and parent concerns (over 75 emails) in an effort to support the teacher and support the lesson and program. ii. Oceanway Expulsion – supported the student and advocated for her to be permitted to return to public school based on school board policy. Took appropriate measures at the school, while still supporting the student’s right to an education. Responded to all media requests and parent concerns (over 50 emails) explaining the decision. iii. Atlantic Beach Elementary – Concern regarding an inappropriate lesson on lynching in an elementary school class. Took appropriate measures at the school, responded to all media requests and constituent concerns from parents who felt that the lesson involved racism. 6. Maintains high standards of ethics, honesty, integrity personally/professionally - 10.0 As Superintendent, I am keenly aware of my responsibility as the leader of the district and the need to maintain the highest standards of ethics at all times. This has been evident throughout my first seven months both in the district and in the community. 7. Teaches DCPS character initiatives by word/example when interacting with students – 10.0 The Superintendent, along with district staff and select Board Members, participated in the Junior Achievement initiative by teaching character and financial literacy lessons to students. In addition, the Superintendent participated in Chick-fil-A Reading night by reading to students and has visited classrooms throughout the district and participated in classroom lessons. I also spoke to students at 17 graduation ceremonies. 8. Devotes time and energy to his/her job – 10.0 Since starting nearly seven months ago, I have not taken one personal, sick, or vacation day. I have worked six days, and often times seven days, a week for nearly 16 hours a day. My calendar has consisted of an average of four evening events per week and at least one weekend event. These events include Town Hall Meetings, Community Meetings, faith based meetings, school site events, business partner meetings, and other community activities that I have been asked to join.