BOE reviews Griffin

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education revealed the results of its review of Superintendent of Education Dr. Al Griffin during its regular meeting Monday.

The review is based on a scale ranging from one to four with the lowest end of the spectrum revealing a need for improvement and the highest rating Griffin as outstanding.

The review covered 34 items the board deems specific to Griffin’s duties at the helm of the Demopolis City School system.

Griffin’s highest rating was a 3.8, a mark he achieved in four categories. The board rated Griffin at a 3.8 in working to get innovative programs to make sure all students have success, utilizing a variety of benchmarks to measure student achievement, making decisions skillfully and in a timely manner and keeping the BOE informed and in a timely manner.

Griffin scored a 3.0 or above in 24 of the 34 categories on the evaluation and managed a 3.6 or higher in 16 of them.

The two lowest scores for Griffin were a 2.0 and a 2.2. The board rated the superintendent a 2.0 for having visibility and involvement in the community and at a 2.2 for being effective in establishing interpersonal relationships.

Overall, Griffin rated approximately a 3.1 in the evaluation.

“As far as my evaluation, I’m going to enhance the positives and address areas that need addressing,” Griffin said.

Reflecting on the beginning of his tenure in Demopolis, Griffin acknowledged potential communication struggles and cited his desire to improve upon those aspects.

“Coming into this job, I had the training and the preparation. My training and my preparation was current, very current. I began to adhere to mandates and implement initiatives,” Griffin said. “It’s possible that maybe these mandates and these initiatives were not interpreted properly and maybe I didn’t communicate them effectively enough. That is something I took to heart and tried to address.”

According to Griffin, when he arrived in Demopolis prior to the 2010-2011 school year, two of the system’s four campuses were in school improvement. Since that time, the testing scores have improved significantly systemwide, an achievement Griffin credits to the administrators and faculties of DCS.

“Our high stakes data scores have reached all-time highs here. Now we’re at a point we have a new diploma option. We’re wanted to enhance our advanced placement and add to our employment opportunities,” Griffin said, also noting the advances DCS has made in the area of career tech as well as the achievement of Demopolis High becoming an AIDT testing site. “We’re hoping that adding programs such as advanced placement that is instills a rigor with the workload that is involved with these programs. We’re going to be quite a draw for industry.”

Griffin’s tenure has also been marred by statewide financial struggles that have required significant cuts in the education budget, a challenge he believes the school system has met with tremendous grace.

“We have endured, during my tenure here, the greatest financial collapse as far as the education trust fund that this state has known in most of our lifetimes,” Griffin said, noting cuts of more than 20 teaching units prior to the 2011-2012 schools year. “”We lost several good people due to the cutbacks. And it came quick. Even though we were cut so many teaching units, our high stakes results in 2011-2012 exceeded those in 2010-2011 with less teachers. That is a credit to our teachers and leaders at each school.”

As he looks to the next year and those to follow, Griffin indicated he has high hopes for the Demopolis City School System.

“There have been some bumps in the road and I can honestly say I never lost focus,” Griffin said. “I love Demopolis and this is my home. I want to continue to surge forward. Only great things lie ahead. We’ll move forward in a productive and progressive manor.”