BOE gives Clouet positive review

Shelton’s new superintendent, Christopher Clouet, who will take over at the first of the year, in Shelton, Conn. Oct. 8th, 2015.

Shelton’s new superintendent, Christopher Clouet, who will take over at the first of the year, in Shelton, Conn. Oct. 8th, 2015.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

School Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet earned high marks for this past year’s performance, according to his bosses, members of the Board of Education.

In the superintendent’s review, results for which were unanimously approved Tuesday, Aug. 13, board members found that Clouet met or exceeded performance in all six categories on which he was judged. The rubric called for grades of 4 for substantially exceeding goals down to 1 for below standard.

“Dr. Clouet has done an amazing job for the district,” said Board of Education Chairman Mark Holden. “He puts in 12 to 14 hours in a typical day working for the district. He has a strong work ethics. He is definitely someone who cares about the students.”

Clouet earned 3.8 in community relations and educational leadership; 3.4 in personal and professional qualities and relationships; 3.2 in Board of Education relations and growth in student achievement; and 3.0 in organizational management.

“The board provided a thoughtful and thorough vision of the future direction of the district and what my role would be,” said Clouet. “I hope to be a part of that vision for a number of years to come.”

Holden said he has been impressed when walking with Clouet through the schools, how many students the superintendent knows by name and that he knows something about them.

“We are lucky to have him,” added Holden.

When asked why he remains in Shelton, which has become known for its contentious relationship between the mayor’s office and the Board of Education, Clouet said: “I like the community. I like the students. I enjoy the staff, the families. There is a real vitality to Shelton, and I am happy to be a part of that.”

The positive review now opens the door for Holden to negotiate a contract extension for Clouet, who presently has a deal in place for the next two years. For those who ask why negotiate an extension, Holden said that in Connecticut, communities give their superintendents a three-year rolling contract.

“When one year ends, they tack a new one onto the back end,” said Holden. “Declining to extend a contract is seen as a vote of no confidence and usually the superintendent will find a new job before the end of the current fiscal year.”

Holden said he plans to complete the extension this week, with the deal coming before the Board of Education at its Aug. 28 meeting for final approval.

In the review, the board commended Clouet for guiding four Shelton schools to be named Schools of Distinction in the state; building a positive relationship with new Finance Director Rick Belden; continued visibility in the schools and community in general as well as being accessible to the board, staff and parents; and persevering “in attempting to develop more positive relationships with City Hall.”

Clouet is “kind and generally cares about people,” stated the review document.

Board recommendations called for Clouet to pursue grants for security and academic opportunities; provide a quarterly report on student performance data with an analysis of patterns of growth and projections for improvement; and a presentation to the board on the operation of District Data Teams.