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School Board Gives JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens Positive Review

Superintendent Donna Hargens is meeting the Jefferson County Board of Education's expectations—but board members also want to hear more of her opinions on school matters.The school board on Monday night released the findings and recommendations of its annual superintendent evaluation, outlining objectives for Hargens to pursue in the 2014-2015 academic year.Board members asked Hargens to actively demonstrate her leadership by stating her point of view, develop a sense of team among district leaders, foster relationships with community and the district, and ensure that processes are clearly communicated.Board member David Jones Jr.  said Hargens “will need to change the way she works” if she's to lead the improvement of Jefferson County Public Schools.“I think she has great momentum,” Jones said.  “Her voice in the community is powerful and we want to hear more of it.”Hargens, who became superintendent in 2011, she will be working to filter communication to the school level.“The board members have encouraged me to speak more,” she said.  “I know that is really important and I know that we have to drive our vision and strategic objectives to the school core.”Jones said the candor and honesty of the evaluation process is the best he had “seen on any board,” but the change in the process will not distort the evaluation results.“People really think hard about the strengths and the opportunities for improvement,” he said.  “We all work at it together quite well.”As the objective of JCPS becoming the best urban school district in the U.S., Hargens said JCPS is well on the way—but work still must be done."We can get there," she said. 

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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