2017 Superintendent of the Year Award Recipient

Dr. Michael A. Grego, Superintendent of Schools, Pinellas County School District, FL  has been named inaugural NSFA “Superintendent of the Year”.

Special presentation at NSFA National Conference, Nashville, TN, March 21-23, 2018

Download the Press Release

Dr. Michael A. Grego, Superintendent of Schools, Pinellas County School District (PCS), Largo, FL has been named inaugural NSFA “Superintendent of the Year”.  He will be honored in a special presentation at NSFA’s 12th Annual National Conference to be held in Nashville, TN, March 21-23, 2018

Dr. Grego was one of 19 nominees from around the country for this prestigious award. His nomination was submitted by the Pinellas Education Foundation (PEF).

The award was created by the National School Foundation Association this year to recognize the important role played by school superintendents in engaging the community to ensure all students have the resources they need to succeed.

Robin Callahan, Executive Director of NSFA, which spearheaded the national search for America’s top school superintendent said, “NSFA created the Superintendent of the Year Award to highlight the characteristics of a superintendent in creating an environment in which an education foundation can flourish. Our intent is that school boards and communities who have or want to have, a strong culture surrounding K-12 philanthropy will look at the award criteria when hiring their next superintendent. The Pinellas Education Foundation is one of the most highly regarded education foundations in the country and that is due in no small part to the collaborative relationship with Dr. Grego and the culture he has helped to create”.

Dr. Grego is a visionary leader and dedicated educator whose career spans more than 35 years.  He began his career as a classroom teacher and department head with Hillsborough County Schools, advancing to become the Assistant Superintendent for Technical, Career & Adult Education, and then Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction.  He became Superintendent of the Pinellas County School District in September 2012.  Based in Largo, FL, the system serves nearly 104,000 students in their PK-12 district enrollment, including more than 140 schools and centers. The district is the 7th largest in Florida and 26th largest in the nation serving 76 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 17 high schools, 6 alternative & exception education schools, 9 adult/vocational schools, 16 centers, and 14 charter schools. With more than 17,000 teachers, administrators and support staff, the district is also Pinellas County's largest employer. Additionally, over 20,000 people serve as volunteers

Dr. Grego is seen as a beacon of change and innovation for the school district, and he has aggressively worked to eliminate achievement gaps in Pinellas County Schools.

Since 2011, Dr. Grego has led a partnership with PEF's Stavros Career Education Board to implement Academies of Pinellas in PCS high schools to prepare students for careers in high demand industries. This group includes active business partners from a wide variety of institutions across the county. Students have shown better attendance, higher GPAs and higher graduation rates than non-academy peers (96.4% v. 86.5%). Due to this effort, Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) named Pinellas a Model Community in 2013 and a Ford NGL Innovation Center in 2016, one of only four in the U.S.  Under Dr. Grego's leadership, PCS and the Foundation created a master plan for Career Education, resulting in 51% of students being enrolled in career academies, and 13,000 certifications earned in 2017. In 2013, Dr. Grego mandated that all PCS high school students graduate from high school equipped with a career plan, using the Future Plans career planning tool developed by the Pinellas Education Foundation.

Toba Cohen-Dunning,  Chair of the NSFA “Superintendent of the Year “ committee which oversaw the compilation and judging of all 19 national nominees said "Congratulations to Dr. Grego and the Pinellas County School District!  Dr. Grego exemplifies the ideal model of a superb District/Foundation relationship.  Pinellas has set the standard serving a large and diverse District in partnership with their K-12 Education Foundation.  On behalf of the committee, we appreciate the opportunity to showcase this great work.”  Ms. Cohen-Dunning is Executive Director, Omaha Public Schools Foundation, Omaha, NE.

Under Dr. Grego’s direction, Pinellas County Schools has achieved district-wide accreditation and has been recognized for several major accomplishments. The Learning Counsel honored PCS as one of the top 10 districts in the nation for its digital curriculum strategy. A 2017 report by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C, ranked PCS as the top in Florida and 10th in the nation for districts offering the best choices for parents. The district earned the top score in Florida two years in a row. In 2017, PCS also earned a top-10 ranking in the annual Digital School Districts Survey for exemplary use of technology. The same year, Pinellas was named one of the Great Districts for Great Teachers by the National Council for Teacher Quality. The award honors districts that celebrate, support and reward great teachers.

Dr. Grego has implemented a number of forward-thinking initiatives to advance the district’s vision of “100% Student Success.”

During Dr. Grego’s tenure, PCS launched:

  • "Beyond the Classroom”, online educational resources available to students 24/7.
  • “Bridging the Gap”, an initiative created to close the gap between African American students and their peers.
  • “Pinellas Innovates”, a long-range plan to expand personalized learning opportunities for students.
  • “Pinellas Pathways to Graduation”, rigorous and relevant course options that help students successfully complete the requirements for earning a high school diploma and uniquely distinguish themselves as they apply to colleges, universities, and technical schools, or enter the workforce.
  • “Summer Bridge”, an ambitious summer learning program that sets students up for success.

Dr. Grego will accept his award at the NSFA 13th Annual National Conference March 21-23 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.

NSFA’s Superintendent of the Year Award is sponsored by Foundant Technologies.


Dr. Michael A. Grego Bio

Dr. Michael Grego is a visionary leader and dedicated educator whose career spans more than 35 years. Dr. Grego began his career as a classroom teacher and department head with Hillsborough County Schools.  He advanced to become the Assistant Superintendent for Technical, Career & Adult Education, and then Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction.

After 28 years with Hillsborough, Dr. Grego was selected as Superintendent of the Osceola County school district. Under his leadership, Osceola saw dramatic improvements, especially among minority students. Prior to joining Pinellas County Schools, he was Florida’s Chancellor of K-12 Education.

In September 2012, Dr. Grego was hired as Pinellas County Schools Superintendent. Since he joined Pinellas, he has been keenly focused on student achievement and closing achievement gaps.

Under Dr. Grego’s leadership, the school district’s graduation rate climbed to more than 80 percent, an 8.2 percent increase since 2012-13. During that same period, the graduation rate for African American students increased 9.1 percentage points.

Dr. Grego believes deeply in investing in teachers and administrators to ensure excellence in education. He has made training and compensating teachers a priority. He’s advocated for programs to develop aspiring leaders, and he’s implemented programs to support new teachers and celebrate teachers with proven track records.

He has implemented several initiatives to extend learning time for students, including Summer Bridge, an ambitious program to reduce summer learning losses. His efforts to develop the program inspired Florida Trend to name Dr. Grego one of its “People to Watch” in 2013.

In 2014, Dr. Grego received an inaugural Whitney M. Young Jr. Leadership Award from the Pinellas County Urban League for his commitment to the community. In 2016, he received the USF College of Education Dean’s Lifetime Achievement Award. And that same year, he was recognized for outstanding leadership as a finalist for the Green-Garner Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. In 2017, Dr. Grego was named Florida Art Education Association Superintendent of the Year.

Under Dr. Grego’s direction, Pinellas County Schools has achieved districtwide accreditation and has been recognized for several major accomplishments:

  • In 2015, the Learning Counsel honored Pinellas County Schools as one of the top 10 districts in the nation for its digital curriculum strategy.
  • During the 2015-16 school year, the district was named a Ford Next Generation Learning Model Community, a milestone designation for preparing high school students for success in college, career, and life.
  • A 2017 report by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C, ranked Pinellas County Schools as the top in Florida and 10th in the nation for districts offering the best choices for parents.
  • In 2017, Pinellas County Schools also earned a top-10 ranking in the annual Digital School Districts Survey for exemplary use of technology.
  • The same year, Pinellas was named one of the Great Districts for Great Teachers by the National Council for Teacher Quality. The honor recognizes districts that celebrate, support and reward great teachers.

# # # #

For More information:

Robin Callahan, CFRE | Executive Director

National School Foundation Association

robin@schoolfoundations.org | 206.960.4141

www.schoolfoundations.org