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'Culture And Morale' Issues Are On JCPS Interim Superintendent’s Agenda

Dr. Marty Pollio is now in charge of Kentucky’s largest public school district.

Pollio has taken the reins as interim superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools following the resignation of Dr. Donna Hargens, which was effective July 1.

Pollio said he wants to get right to work addressing “culture and morale issues” that have come to light in school surveys.

“When morale is down in schools, it’s obviously going to reflect in central office numbers.   So, on the ground and in our schools, insuring that school leaders are working to improve culture, climate, morale in all of their schools will be job number one,”  he said at a Monday morning press conference.

JCPS is awaiting the results of a state management audit launched earlier this year that could potentially lead to a state takeover of the 100,000 student district.

Pollio said he’s eager to learn what the audit has found.

“The only way I know to move forward with this is to use it as a road map," he said. "Obviously getting the audit results, studying those and making sure we use the recommendations of the [Kentucky Department of Education] to move our district forward.   So we have to take it as a road map and use it as a way to get better and improve.”

Pollio has held several positions during his 20-year career at JCPS.  Most recently, he was principal of Doss High School.

The Jefferson County Board of Education has launched its search for a permanent superintendent.

Hargens resigned during her sixth year as superintendent following a restructuring of her contract. That came after some on the school board called for a change of leadership.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.

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