Donna Hargens' tenure as JCPS superintendent comes to a close - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Donna Hargens' tenure as JCPS superintendent comes to a close

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Donna Hargens' resignation officially takes effect on Saturday., July 1, 2017 Donna Hargens' resignation officially takes effect on Saturday., July 1, 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Donna Hargens spent her last work day as superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools on Friday, as her resignation from the district takes effect on Saturday.

Hargens, who came to JCPS from North Carolina in 2011, announced her resignation in April while under fire for student fights, teacher protests and low test scores. 

"I don't want to see anyone lose their job, but to me Dr. Hargens, clearly was not listening," said Rob Mattheu, whose 15-year-old daughter attends duPont Manual High School.

Hargens still had two years on her contract but cut a deal with the school board to leave now with $200,000 in benefits. 

Former Doss high school principal Marty Pollio was named interim superintendent and will take over on Sunday.

Hargens' departure comes as results from the 2017 comprehensive survey were released this week, showing that less than half of JCPS teachers, principals have faith in her leadership and in the district’s ability to manage money efficiently.

But it wasn't all bad. With Hargens at the helm, JCPS graduation rates topped 80 percent for the first time, and college and career readiness scores doubled.

"Her track record with getting busing turned around and getting kids home more quickly ... so there was a lot of positive things she did," Mattheu said.

The verdict is still out on whether Pollio will stay in the position, but in the short term, he has two spots to fill on his cabinet: the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Business Officer.

And parents are watching his decision closely.

"We need someone who listens to constituency first, and to me, that is the parents, the students, the teachers, and the staff," Mattheu said.

SUNDAY EDITION | 'Much work to be done' as Superintendent Donna Hargens steps down from JCPS

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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