Superintendent Nelson earns high praise from committee members

Jun 30, 2022

Superintendent of Schools Michael Nelson received the adult equivalent of straight A’s during his job evaluation by the Joint School Committee.

He received the highest rating possible, exemplary, in the four categories reviewed, instructional leadership, management and operations, family and community engagement and professional culture.

At the June 27 Joint School Committee meeting, members said Nelson also exceeded goals set for him, including showing leadership during meetings to ensure that academics is the primary focus of discussion, displaying effective direction setting and maintaining momentum during the transition.

Many of the committee members comments concerned that they described as Nelson’s commitment to high standards and community engagement and communication. The sampling of comments did not attribute them to specific committee members.

“Mr. Nelson is a leader who brings energy to our districts, builds a sense of trust and camaraderie among staff and throughout the community, and inspires teachers and staff,’’ was one comment listed on the review. 

“Mr. Nelson is a talented educator and strategic leader who considers students first, emphasizes a well-rounded education and is committed to high quality learning,’’ according to another reviewer. 

“Work remains to be done, in particular with regard to literacy, and building and strengthening the administrative team. Mr. Nelson’s work on the entry plan, his accessibility, leadership and willingness to listen to stakeholders bodes well for Old Rochester Regional schools,’’ another reviewer wrote.

Joint Committee chair Sharon Hartley described the review responses as showing “the most consistency of responses’’ that she has seen in reviewing superintendents.

Nelson earned these solid rankings less than two years into his term. He began serving as superintendent in July 2020.

He has worked in the district since July 2014, when he was hired as director of student services. In October 2019, he was promoted to assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and student services.

Nelson said he was humbled by the review and said his work reflects the efforts of the entire school community.

“This evaluation only motivates even more,’’ he said.

Although the meeting was held just days after the school year ended, Nelson added with a chuckle that “I’m already excited for the 2022-23 school year.’’