Donna Hargens spends last day of school as JCPS superintendent v - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Donna Hargens spends last day of school as JCPS superintendent visiting teachers, students

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JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens chats with a teacher at Jacob Elementary on Wednesday, the last day of the 2016-17 year. JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens chats with a teacher at Jacob Elementary on Wednesday, the last day of the 2016-17 year.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Wednesday marked the last day of school -- and the start of summer break -- for 101,000 students in Jefferson County Public Schools. 

It also marked the final last day of school for Superintendent Donna Hargens -- at least in JCPS, a district she has led for the past six years. 

"The end of the school year is always about celebration," Hargens said during a visit at the Academy @ Shawnee early Wednesday morning. "It's exciting to see the growth during a school year."

Hargens, who started started the 2016-17 year with three years remaining on a four-year contract with the district, will step down from her position on July 1

She spent the entire day visiting with students, teachers and staff at eight of the district's schools. 

Looking back at the past six years in charge, Hargens says there are a few things she would do differently.

"I don't think you can listen enough," she said during a mid-morning visit at Jacob Elementary. "I don't think you can visit schools enough, and even though I did that a lot, I would encourage anybody to do that even more."

"My advice would be stick to the core of what's important and that is students," she said.

That encouragement is directed toward Doss High School principal Marty Pollio, who will take over as acting superintendent on July 2. 

On Tuesday night, the school board approved adding a "special assistant to the superintendent" position, which will allow Pollio to move from Doss to central office on June 1 and work with Hargens to help ensure an easy transition.

Pollio, a 20-year JCPS veteran, said Wednesday there is "no doubt that we have some work to do in many places."

He says the first test is creating a positive culture within the district.

"Very healthy academic learning environments for students -- that's a big task anywhere especially when you're talking 100,000 students, many schools, many classrooms," Pollio said.

And while Polio plans to write a new lesson plan for the district, Hargens' next plan isn't as clear.

"I just want to do a great job in this transition and then we'll see what's next," she said.

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Polio will work alongside Hargens for one month... learning from *her experiences.

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