Ex-su­per­in­ten­dent re­ceived crit­i­cism in district sur­vey

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Laura Hein­auer lhein­auer@states­man.com; 445-3694

A re­cent Ge­orge­town school district em­ployee sur­vey, made pub­lic Wed­nes­day, doc­u­ments dis­con­tent with for­mer Su­per­in­ten­dent Abbe Bor­ing — some­thing sources have said was among the rea­sons be­hind her sur­prise res­ig­na­tion last month.

The 44-page re­port, based on re­sults of an em­ployee sur­vey in May, was pre­pared for the district in June by the Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of School Boards. Bor­ing an­nounced June 21 that she was leav­ing the district, and district of­fi­cials said in a state­ment that the split was mu­tual and am­i­ca­ble.

The district re­leased the re­port af­ter a request made by the Amer­i­can-States­man un­der the Texas Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Act.

About 75 per­cent of the district’s 1,666 em­ploy­ees, re­sponded to the sur­vey, in­clud­ing 87 per­cent of teach­ers. Writ­ten com­ments were left by 531 re­spon­dents. Of 130 com­ments made about the su­per­in­ten­dent, many re­ferred to mi­cro­man­age­ment and slow de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Some of those sur­veyed said they were dis­ap­pointed that there were no di­rect ques­tions about Bor­ing’s per­for­mance or that of the school board.

One com­menter wrote: “District op­er­ates un­der a reign of fear. Vi­sion is lack­ing — not clear un­der­stand­ing of where we are go­ing. Not proac­tive — Re­ac­tionary 24-7. Un­able to com­mu­ni­cate with other district ad­min­is­tra­tors. Un­rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tions and dead­lines. Morale is very low. Su­per­in­ten­dent is the only per­son who can make even the sim­plest of de­ci­sions.”

Only one com­ment was pos­i­tive about Bor­ing: “The board seems to be mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion along with su­per­in­ten­dent. Ku­dos to them for mak­ing some new po­si­tions and keep­ing up with other big­ger dis­tricts.”

Bor­ing, who had been with the district for 2½ years and had three years left on her con­tract, was of­fered a one-year sep­a­ra­tion agree­ment equal to one year’s pay, or $206,000, of­fi­cials said. She has been on vacation since her an­nounce­ment. Her res­ig­na­tion is offi-

Though school board mem­bers have al­ready seen the sur­vey re­sults, district of­fi­cials said they are not plan­ning a pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the re­sults un­til Au­gust.

cial to­day.

Though a ma­jor­ity of em­ploy­ees said in the sur­vey that they were sat­is­fied with their jobs, there was a de­cline in the pro­por­tion who said they would rec­om­mend the Ge­orge­town school district to a friend as a good place to work. In 2007, when Bor­ing was hired, 91 per­cent of district em­ploy­ees said they’d rec­om­mend the district; this year, 79 per­cent said they would. There was also an de­crease in sat­is­fac­tion with district com­mu­ni­ca­tion, train­ing, goals and ex­pec­ta­tions, and timely de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Since Bor­ing’s res­ig­na­tion, day-to-day op­er­a­tions have been man­aged by As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dents Brenda Al­bright and Karen Dooley and Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer David McLaugh­lin.

District spokesman Brad Domitro­vich said the school board could dis­cuss the search for a new su­per­in­ten­dent at a meet­ing planned for Mon­day.

Though school board mem­bers have al­ready seen the sur­vey re­sults, district of­fi­cials said they are not plan­ning a pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the re­sults un­til Au­gust.

Abbe Bor­ing Ge­orge­town school chief an­nounced res­ig­na­tion last month.

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