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Board’s evaluation rates superintendent a five of possible nine

Published: Tue, March 26, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

Hathorn gets lower rating despite upturn in test scores

3 board members opt not to sign evaluation

By Denise Dick

VTR: Connie Hathorn - Superintendent of the Youngstown City Schools

Video Set

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Connie Hathorn, Superintendent of the Youngstown City Schools, joins Todd Franko and Louie Free to discuss Youngstown City Schools and his plans for the future.



Despite improved test scores, the school board evaluated Superintendent Connie Hathorn’s performance at a 5 out of a possible 9, down two points from last year.

Three of the seven board members did not sign the evaluation, however, believing the marks should be higher.

The board met in executive session with Hathorn on Monday, and he said the board’s overall evaluation of him, as well as his ranking in every category, was a 5. Last year, the board rated him at an overall 7 out of 9.

A 5 equates to a “satisfactory” performance. A 7 equates to “commendable.”

“I’m not taking it personally,” Hathorn said Monday evening. “I’m just putting the kids first. We’re going to keep moving forward. It’s all about the kids.”

He said he planned to respond to his evaluation in writing to the board.

Reached by telephone after the meeting, Richard Atkinson, school board president, wouldn’t talk about the evaluation.

“I’m looking at some legal things,” he said.

Hathorn’s evaluation was completed and signed by the majority of board members, making it a public document, but Atkinson said he would release it when he establishes that it is public.

Three board members — Lock P. Beachum Sr., Rachel Hanni and Michael Murphy — didn’t sign the evaluation. It was signed by Atkinson, Marcia Haire-Ellis, Brenda Kimble and Andrea Mahone.

They all said they disagreed with an evaluation that rates Hathorn’s performance as worse than it was last year.

“I think he’s doing a good job — definitely not worse than last year,” Hanni said.

She pointed to improvements in school school’s test scores — both Chaney Campus and Williamson Elementary School were rated effective on the most recent state report card.

“I think he’s doing everything he can to move this district forward and to try to appeal to the students and the people who have left to come back,” Hanni said.

Hathorn unveiled a plan earlier this month that will close three school buildings and repurpose several others in an attempt to expand student choice, reduce costs and improve academics. Both the state-appointed Youngstown Schools Academic Distress Commission and the school board approved the plan.

Beachum worries that an evaluation rating Hathorn’s performance as worse this year than the previous year could send the wrong message to the community. It may give the impression that the board lacks confidence in the superintendent, Beachum worries.

For the plan to succeed, it’s going to take support from the board, the academic commission, the superintendent, the superintendent’s advisory committee and the community in general.

Beachum says he has confidence in Hathorn.

“I think he’s making every effort to do a good job,” he said.

Murphy agreed.

“I think he’s doing a better job than he did last year,” he said.

Each board member completes an individual evaluation form that the board president then compiles to arrive at an average in each category and overall.

The evaluation covers six categories: relationships with the board, community relationships, staff and personnel relationships, educational leadership, business and finance and personal qualities.


1polhack(129 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I believe Mr Hathorn is doing a good job by boldly taking action that should have been taken long ago to consolidate schools. For parents, I can imagine this is disturbing, as change always is, but it would not seem so disruptive had they not been led down a garden path by earlier Boards the members of which had little in the way of professional qualifications. While the Board Chairman is "looking at some legal things," the rest of us should support Hathorn.

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2snworb56(53 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

They cannot even agree on whether the Supt is doing a good job. The State must take over. Shameful.

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3Westsider(269 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a little revenge because he is looking for other opportunities - they are so brain dead that they think a lower evaluation will make him less attractive for other positions.

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4NoBS(2761 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The idiotic school board needs to go - even the state oversight commission says so. Dr. Hathorne is on the right track, but improvements don't take place overnight.

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5juicylucy(27 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Please stop posting that the state should take over the Youngstown School District-they took over the district several years ago. Did anyone read the article that the board members were denied the funding for the trip to San Diego by the Commission? Have you made a connection to all the news stories about the commission and the school district for all these years? The commission has 2 branches-academic and financial. If you think the board is incompetent who do you think has been pulling the strings for the past 5 year?. Those people are the worst!They absolutely are not for educating children. They only need a reason to exist to have their jobs. I pity the next district to fall under their control. Disgusting!

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