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Board to evaluate Pulliam in November

By Greg Gelpi

After no discussion, the Clayton County Board of Education agreed to evaluate Superintendent Barbara Pulliam individually from home.

The board met in executive session for an hour before opening the door and announcing the decision that the board members would complete the evaluations at home and turn them in at the next regular business meeting.

By law, the process of evaluating the superintendent must be discussed in an open meeting, but the evaluation itself is confidential.

Pulliam remained in the meeting during the executive session. She said to "trust" her that nothing was discussed about the evaluation process during the closed-door session.

Pulliam said afterward that she prefers for comments to be made directly to her, whether positive or negative. She described the evaluation as a process in which the employer and employee engage in an "interactive" meeting. The board establishes what is expected from the superintendent, and the superintendent responds.

The agenda for the meeting indicated the board would discuss the evaluation process in open session but never indicated the board would evaluate Pulliam.

The school board agreed to use the evaluation designed by the Georgia School Boards Association and turn in the completed evaluations Nov. 1. The GSBA evaluation can be found online at www.gsba.com.

Despite the legal requirement of evaluating the superintendent annually, the evaluation itself carries no "legal weight," school board attorney Gary Sams said.

There was no discussion in open session about what the board members valued in a superintendent or what factors they believed to be most important in evaluating Pulliam.

Sams said the previous two superintendents weren't formally evaluated on an annual basis.

William Chavis, who served as interim superintendent for 13 months, was never evaluated, and Dan Colwell, who preceded him, wasn't formally evaluated for at least a year prior to that, Sams said.

In other business, the board amended the agenda after the executive session, adding a vote to appoint an interim principal at Forest Park High School.

The board voted 7-0 to name Lisa Sayles-Adams, a principal from Minneapolis, to the position. She replaces Claire Boyce, who was named the principal in August.

Board members Linda Crummy and Bob Livingston were absent from the meeting.