Richardson aces first year as Pulaski superintendent 

Janie Slaven | CJ

Pulaski County Schools Superintendent Patrick Richardson presents a plaque to Elizabeth Erp as board attorney Larry Bryson looks on. Erp is retiring as executive assistant after serving with four superintendents.


If Patrick Richardson had any questions about the job he did in his first year as superintendent, the Pulaski County Board of Education laid them to rest Tuesday night with a highly favorable summative evaluation.

Such evaluations are compiled annually and allow board members to assess how their schools chief is doing measured against seven leadership standards: instructional, cultural, human resources, managerial, collaborative, influential and strategic. 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.

In board chair Brandy Daniels' absence, vice-chair Dr. Rebekah Branscum read Supt. Richardson's report aloud during the June school board meeting -- noting that he had been scored as exemplary or accomplished for each of the seven criteria. At least one goal accompanied each indicator as well:

Strategic Leadership -- The board praised Richardson's strong community presence and work with the commonwealth, but encouraged looking beyond state borders. "To be leaders in education, Pulaski County needs to look beyond Kentucky standards to states that excel and eventually look globally," Dr. Branscum read.Instructional Leadership -- Board members praised the district's work to streamline curriculum and testing but asked that teachers meet across schools rather than just within their own. "The board would like to see teachers from different schools within close proximity collaborating together," Dr. Branscum read. "The district is large, transient to a certain extent, diverse, and each school has gems that the board would like to be shared with other schools."Cultural Leadership -- Richardson earned an exemplary rating in this area for his community involvement and efforts to stabilize the district budget with new protocols. In addition to his own work on boards in the community, Richardson was praised for plans to establish an ambassador program that would mark a transition from the parent advisory board. "He maintains a servant-leadership style which serves our district well," Dr. Branscum read, adding that the board's goal is to continue monitoring the budget.Human Resource Leadership -- The board was pleased with the quality of staff. With a lack of state funding for professional development, the superintendent was praised for allocating funds to ensure teachers are well prepared. "Mr. Richardson has inherited a district where highly effective administrators have been put in place to ensure high-quality staff stays in our schools," Dr. Branscum read.Managerial

Leadership -- The board was pleased with budget planning and administration. Dr. Branscum stated the board's goals are to continue with budget restructuring and monitoring safety concerns. Board members praised the addition of a K-9 on the team of School Resource Officers as well as more cameras and Kentucky State Police active-shooter training.Collaborative Leadership -- Richardson was praised for increasing communications with the board as well as district events which allow the community to participate. As a goal, the board asked for a weekly email listing a schedule of events so they may attend. "The start up of a community ambassador program could be beneficial and help our constituents feel that they have more voice," Dr. Branscum added.Influential Leadership -- The superintendent was praised for meeting with state and local officials. The board asked for continued monitoring of Senate Bill 1 and advocating for more state funding with local legislators."Mr. Richardson has stepped into the role of superintendent quite smoothly," Dr. Branscum read. "He has implemented some needed changes and has plans for our district's future.…The board would like to congratulate Mr. Richardson on completing his first year as Superintendent of Pulaski County Schools. We feel that it was an overall success, and feel confident that the future is bright for our students with Mr. Richardson leading the district."