TAMPA — Superintendent MaryEllen Elia won a one-year contract extension and mostly stellar evaluations Tuesday from her bosses, the Hillsborough County School Board.
"You have led this district through some very tumultuous times," said member Jennifer Faliero, praising Elia's management of the budget during perilous economic times. "You've been a tremendous leader."
Of the seven members on the board, four awarded Elia more than 40 points out of a possible 45 in her annual performance review. And two — Jack Lamb and Carol Kurdell, respectively — scored her only one and two points shy of perfect.
"It is most evident that we made a good decision in selecting our superintendent," Lamb wrote, referring to her 2005 promotion to the top job. "Our district is cited as a model in a number of issues as we continue to improve in spite of a reduction in resources; much of this is due to her leadership."
Of the remaining three board members, April Griffin gave Elia 35 points, while Susan Valdes and Jennifer Faliero awarded 38 and 39 points, respectively. The board's combined score put Elia in the "above satisfactory" range, two points shy of "outstanding."
Griffin said she was concerned about the district's "college-bound focus" rather than helping the "majority of the students."But member Candy Olson said adoption of college prep programs like AVID and Springboard have helped "children in the middle."
Members praised Elia's decision last month to take a 5 percent cut on her $257,958 salary.