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Mid-Year Reflections

Superintendent DeRuosi rates himself as “proficient” 

in meeting six-month goals set by School Committee

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. gives himself high marks through the halfway point of his first year in charge of Saugus Public Schools. “I’m proud of the work I’ve done to this date,” DeRuosi told School Committee members last week

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done with you and for you … I think we have captured several issues that have been gnawing at the town … be it through audit. … be it through things that have been brought to my attention,” he said.

DeRuosi gave himself an overall progress rating of “proficient” in all four standards, which encompassed 13 goals set by the School Committee. In addition, he graded himself as “exemplary” for his Mid-Year General Work Ethic Rating, according to a five-page report titled “Mid-Year Reflection.”

School Committee Chairman Jeannie Meredith thanked DeRuosi for his efforts and said she agreed with his self-evaluation. “You met all the challenges that we have put forth to you,” Meredith said.

“To see a superintendent that is so committed to this district and our students … it really is refreshing. You are here when the sun goes up and you are here when the sun goes down,” she said.

“I really want to thank you for giving 100 percent to our district,” she said. “I’d like to see less focus on the negativity,” she added.

DeRuosi’s Mid-Year Reflection actually covered through his eighth month since he began work last July 1. The four standards overlapping the committee’s goals include instructional leadership, management and operation, family and community engagement, and professional culture.

DeRuosi’s report included some advice, particularly for the goal for “Market strategy that accurately portrays student achievement.” “This goal was somewhat confusing to me because I don’t know how you can market student achievement without marketing the whole district,” DeRuosi wrote.

“My approach to leadership is to open up the operations and provide a voice to all stakeholders,” he wrote.

The superintendent noted that the School Committee has made “subtle changes to our SC meeting times to encourage teachers and students to attend and showcase their success … Our SC meetings are focused more on student achievement and presentation from students and teachers highlighting the positive.”

“Here is the best marketing strategy I can suggest at this time: One Town, One Team: Building a Stronger Saugus,” he said, referring to the slogan adopted by his office and the School Committee.

In addressing the School Committee last week, DeRuosi offered some overall advice to the committee: “Shed some of the negativity. Be transparent, face our problems head on. Deal with them.”

In his report, he noted he has been making significant progress in the committee’s goal to create solvency in the food service budget. He noted the unanimous vote by the committee to outsource the food services program. “While this move may provide fiscal solvency in its first year as a district, we will move closer to that goal,” DeRuosi wrote.

“Changes in policy and the focus on collection of individual student lunch debt will also move the district closer to the fiscal solvency it is looking for,” he said.


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