Pollio tapped to lead Jefferson County Public Schools

Acting Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio can drop the acting from his title after he was picked for the position on a permanent basis by the Jefferson County Board of Education Sunday night.

Pollio, who previously served as principal at Doss High School, replaced former Superintendent Donna Hargens on acting basis after she resigned in 2017. Hargens’ resignation came under pressure from the school board after a six-year tenure marred by tension with the board and anger over sluggish improvements in test scores.

After he was confirmed as the permanent position, Pollio tweeted: “Honored to be named @JCPSKY superintendent. I plan to bring the same passion, energy and focus to work every day to create positive learning environments at all of our schools where teachers can teach and students can learn.”

Pollio was one of two finalists for the position, alongside JCPS Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor. Both candidates were interviewed for an hour each by the school board on Sunday, with a final decision coming shortly thereafter.

“During the past eight months, he’s brought stability, re-energized our district and focused our priorities,” school board chairwoman Diane Porter said after the vote. “Dr. Pollio is the right person, at the right time, to lead JCPS.”

While Pollio awaited word on whether he would land the superintendent job permanently, he had jumped into his duties, launched several new initiatives, and became a near-constant presence on local television. That approach appeared validated by a sharp uptick in teacher satisfaction with the school district under his command.

Pollio will face more challenges in the coming months, however. Governor Matt Bevin has taken aim at what he’s called bloat at JCPS, while the state is conducting an audit that could lead to a partial takeover of the school district.

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