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Superintendent’s Performance Rated As “Average”

Though he received ratings of "proficient" and "distinguished" in several areas, the School Committee's assessment of Superintendent Robert Tremblay's job performance for the 2010-2011 school year was deemed "average" and in need of improvement.

At the September 1 meeting, School Committee Chairperson, Loriann Baranauskas, detailed the annual assessment process, explaining individual committee members were asked to rate certain attributes of the Superintendent, relating to performance against goals and against expectations. The individual evaluations were consolidated into a summary reflecting the entire committee.

Baranauskas told the Superintendent, who had not previously seen the results, "The document that we present this evening is truly representative of the majority opinion of the Committee." Areas included in the evaluation were Public Relations; Civic and Philanthropic matters; Legislative matters and Self Development/Professional Development.

Though Tremblay received praise for his "intense work ethics and high visibility within the community" the Committee "feels that some balance" needs to be achieved. "The Superintendent's office need(s) to be equally focused on educational excellence, leadership, comprehensive planning, budgetary matters and less focused on matters of local politics," Baranauskas said.

She detailed specific performance areas for improvement, including staff personnel management and leadership, especially the committee's disappointment and dissatisfaction in the manner in which some of the hiring decisions were approached. A lack of consistency and transparency, coupled with a lack of communication, regarding hiring decisions, was deemed a recipe for "turmoil and dissatisfaction" amongst staff. "The decisions and processes for hiring were sometimes short-cut," Baranauskas relayed, "and when that happens, there can be a loss of trust".

The complaint, Baranauskas stressed, was not aimed at recent staff hirings, but at the "manner in which some of the hiring decisions were approached." She added, "The Committee has every confidence in the people that were hired."

Tremblay's monitoring, mentoring and staff development leadership role was also critiqued. "The Committee realizes that the successes of our staff are yours and the failures of our staff are yours, equally and there is a direct reflection on leadership when there's a difficult transition," Baranauskas stated. "The Committee, as a whole, felt that more effective and more constant on-site leadership could have averted some of the difficulties faced this year, by staff members."

"You've done a great job with Public Relations and in those areas," Baranauskas reiterated. "But those areas take (you) away from the Central Office and (other) duties." The Committee also cautioned that "delegation should not become abdication" and that their desire would be for a "more hands-on approach to running the district, especially in core areas like curriculum ... management and (the) implementing of new initiatives."

Additionally, the Committee said, regarding new initiatives, they have not always been presented with enough information to make well-informed decisions.

Following a review of other areas, including budgetary and curriculum matters, Baranauskas announced the Superintendent's overall rating for the past year would be "reflective of a 'C' average".

She explained the next step in the evaluation will be for Tremblay to "review these goals, reflect on his goals and bring back a consolidated document for our approval," that, ideally, will address "our goals, his goals, the district's goals and tie the package all together".

Invited to comment, Tremblay thanked the Committee for their work adding, "I don't consider myself an average performer ... ever. I've always worked harder than that. I think we all share in a common goal ... to be a premiere district and ... I think these goals are targeted in that direction and I'm eager to get involved with these."

Tremblay, who has worked in the Milford School District for the past 15 years is beginning his fifth year as Superintendent of Schools.


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