LARGO — When asked recently, Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego declined to say whether he’s eyeing the soon-to-open top education job in neighboring Hillsborough County.
That led to conjecture that he might actually be interested in returning to the district where he spent 20 years as an administrator.
But on Wednesday, before a room of community members, Grego threw another curve ball, professing his love for Pinellas, where he has been the superintendent since 2012.
“It is an absolutely giving, caring, nurturing community,” he said of Pinellas. “Not all communities are made up of the fibers that we are.”
The event was one of Grego’s occasional “superintendent roundtable" meetings, where he gives updates on district initiatives and student performance.
He stood before about 50 people at a luncheon inside the Gus A. Stavros Institute, where students go to gain hands-on experience related to finances and economics. Grego told them it is an “absolute blessing” being the county’s superintendent.
He noted that he recently marked seven years in the job and has “hope for many more.”
Grego’s name has circulated as a possible replacement for Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins, who announced June 10 his plans to retire next year. He worked for the Hillsborough district from 1988 to 2008 and once applied for the superintendent job there.
In July, Grego said hadn’t given “any serious thought” to being Hillsborough’s next superintendent, adding: “At the appropriate time, I will give it thought.” But he has been mum on the topic since.