Summit School District superintendent shares details of evaluation survey
Results show overwhelming support of Crawford’s leadership
Summit School District’s Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford said he wants to do everything he can to be transparent with the Summit community, voluntarily sharing details from a leadership survey sent to a variety of stakeholders.
The survey was sent to 77 “observers,” 44 of whom took the survey evaluating 30 specific leadership behaviors and skills on a 10-point scale, with 1 being almost never and 10 being almost always. The skills and behaviors were grouped into five categories that identify “practices of exemplary leadership:”
- Model the way
- Inspire a shared vision
- Challenge the process
- Enable others to act
- Encourage the heart
Crawford explained that the evaluation looked at overall leadership qualities that can apply to anyone, while the board evaluation he will go through in the spring will look at specific duties in the superintendent job description and how well he performed each.
Crawford was first tasked with taking the survey himself, and the survey compares his ratings on each skill or behavior to the average of everyone polled. The survey denotes questions where the rating Crawford gave himself differs by more than 1.5 points to show a potential area of disconnect. Very few questions had this distinction, and Crawford rated himself lower than his peers did in all of them.
Different folks who take the survey are assigned to different categories to further break down the results. For Crawford’s survey, school board members are considered managers; direct reports, including district chiefs and principals, are labeled as such; fellow community leaders, such as town managers, mayors and chiefs, are considered co-workers; and the final category includes assistant principals, teachers union leaders, directors and other members of the district’s administrative instructional team.
For all 30 questions, Crawford’s average score was high on the 1-10 scale, with his lowest average score on a question being 7.8. Looking specifically at feedback from the Board of Education — or his managers — the numbers show that the board is happy with Crawford’s leadership. The board scored Crawford higher than the overall average in 17 of the 30 questions.
Within the five categories, Crawford’s results indicate he is best at enabling others to act, with an average score of 9. This includes treating people with dignity and respect, developing cooperative relationships and actively listening to all points of view.
The next best scores were for the categories modeling the way and inspiring a shared vision, which tied with an average of 8.7. Modeling the way includes following through on promises and commitments, building consensus and setting a personal example of expectations. Inspiring a shared vision includes speaking with a genuine conviction about the higher meaning and purpose of work and painting a big picture of what the workplace hopes to accomplish.
Next is the encouraging the heart category, where Crawford received an average score of 8.6. This includes praising people for a job well done and telling stories of encouragement about the good work of others.
While it was the lowest category for Crawford, challenging the process still had a high average score of 8.4. This includes taking initiative responding to change and actively searching for ways to improve.
Crawford said he wanted to publicly share his survey results in an attempt to be transparent with the community about the evaluation. He added that the results were affirming and flattering. He also said his work is a direct reflection of the work district leadership does as a team.
“People can comment or rate my performance, but my performance is directly related to theirs,” Crawford said. “It’s hard to separate the two, so I thought it was affirming for our entire leadership group.”
Board President Kate Hudnut said there were “no surprises” in the survey results and that she is continuously grateful the district and Crawford found each other at the right place and right time.
The same survey was done for former Superintendent Marion Smith Jr. last year, but it legally must remain confidential unless the individual it pertains to decides to release it themselves.
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