PICKENS COUNTY – Pickens County Superintendent Dr. Kelley Pew recently received high praise and a three-year contract extension from the Pickens County School Board after an annual evaluation.
Board members say Pew has displayed a commitment to excellence during her short time with the district.
“Dr. Pew continues to be an outstanding educational leader and continues to demonstrate that she is dedicated and committed to improving the overall opportunities offered to our students,” Board Chairman Judy Edwards said. “Her background and experience in our system, as well as her depth of knowledge about all aspects of public education and in particular instructional matters, continue to be major strengths.”
The annual evaluation is required by board policy and by the district’s employment agreement with the Superintendent.
This year, district officials say the evaluation focused on the district’s 2012–2013 goals and objectives in the four main areas of student achievement, finance, personnel/human resources and completing the building program.
In June, of 2012, just months into Pew’s stint as Superintendent, the board adopted goals and priorities for Dr. Pew, which are the criteria upon which the members evaluated her performance.
“Dr. Pew is doing a good job,” Saitta said. “The board and the district leadership solved lingering problems from the D’Andrea administration with the building program, the budget and management. Now the district can and has turned its focus back to educating students, and Dr. Pew with her strong background in curriculum is the right person for the job.”
Saitta said he was pleased with one of the Superintendent’s efforts on a key initiative to raise the graduation rate in the county.
“The district is showing gains in test scores and the graduation rate,” Saitta said. “For this reason, the board has given her a 3 year contract extension.”
The board did not raise Pew’s salary, but did provide for more travel expenses.
“Up until now the Superintendent was given a $6,000 in county mileage allowance, and is reimbursed for out of county travel,” Saitta said. “I opposed boosting that allowance from $6,000 to $9,000. Six thousand is more than ample, so I voted against it.”
Edwards disagreed with Saitta, saying the additional funds for travel were needed.
“We feel like we have had a fantastic year and a half and we feel like our evaluation shows that,” Edwards said. “Dr. Pews stays on the road trying to keep everything going and I really think this needs to be increased.”
Pew currently receives a $120,000 salary.
“We look forward to many more years of productive partnerships with Dr. Pew and the excellent staff she continues to assemble,” Edwards said.