Richardson wraps up first contract with another vote of confidence from Pulaski school board

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Jun. 16—Superintendent Patrick Richardson continues to earn high marks following his fourth year as head of Pulaski County Schools.

The Pulaski County Board of Education approved their summative evaluation of Supt. Richardson's job performance during the regular June meeting held Tuesday.

Such evaluations are compiled annually and allow board members to assess how their schools chief is doing measured against seven leadership standards: strategic, instructional, cultural, human resource, managerial, collaborative, and influential leadership. They use a four-tier rating system: exemplary, for exceeding the standard; accomplished, for meeting the standard; developing, for growth toward meeting the standard; and growth required, for areas that the superintendent must address in a Professional Growth Plan.

The evaluation must be approved by the end of June, and is conducted in two parts. The board first met with Richardson in executive session during the May 10 meeting, then compiled individual members' comments for the summative evaluation report available to the public.

Board chair Cindy Price presented the summative evaluation, reporting that the superintendent had been given exemplary or accomplished scores for each standard by all board members.

"Mr. Richardson gave a presentation to the board on how he'd addressed each standard and goals that had been set at last year's evaluation," Price read, adding that the board has set three new goals for the coming year:

—Focus on improving staff and student attendance;

—Renew a positive culture and learning environment across the district with a focus on social/emotional learning for students and staff; and

—Continue focus of district finances including but not limited to ESSER funding, meeting student and staff needs, building projects, and maintaining a healthy contingency fund.

Noting that Richardson is completing his first 4-year contract as superintendent, Price stated, "Between new superintendent training and Covid, all four years have been challenging. Even with these challenges, he has kept a positive attitude and remained focus on what is best for our school district. He maintains a 'we environment' — quoting one of our board members — by seeking input from all stakeholders and the leadership teams within the district. One board member said he does an amazing job in making everything run as smoothly as possible and creates an atmosphere conducive to learning.

"We would like to publicly thank Mr. Richardson for his leadership these past four years. He will be starting a new 4-year contract July 1 and we look forward to working with him," the chair concluded, adding the board's hopes that the next four years won't be as challenging as the last.

Supt. Richardson thanked board members for their support.

"You are a pleasure to work with," he said. "I know each and every one of you have the students of our district at heart, and I know each of you represent our district very well in your decision-making."

With the absence of board member Daphne Tucker, the board unanimously approved the summative evaluation 4-0.