ATTLEBORO — Even school superintendents get report cards, and Attleboro Superintendent David Sawyer got straight A’s from the school committee on his.

He won’t get a smiley face sticker or a report to put on his refrigerator, but he did get “exemplary” grades in every area he was evaluated in.

The categories include instructional leadership, management and operations, family and community engagement, and professional culture.

“Attleboro is very lucky to have Superintendent Sawyer as the leader of the school district,” school committee Chairman Stephen Withers Jr. said Tuesday.

“The district has undergone major changes and challenges the last several years, and Mr. Sawyer’s leadership has allowed the district to not only navigate these matters, but to thrive and make improvements that have been long needed,” Withers said.

The committee members graded Sawyer separately, and Withers compiled the scores and wrote a report to Sawyer.

It called Sawyer “irreplaceable,” and stated in part:

“The Attleboro Public Schools (‘APS’), and the City of Attleboro (‘City’), again benefited from your leadership this past year. Your dedication, ability and leadership ensured that APS is continuing to make great strides, is positioning itself for continuing improvement, and truly is becoming the center of a community united around education.

“An overall evaluation of ‘exemplary’ signifies that a superintendent is among the top tier in the Commonwealth. Given your continued growth, your improvement of the educational instruction, community engagement, operation and administration, and professional culture of APS, as well as your irreplaceable role in city government and the community at-large, there is no doubt that you have earned such an illustrious rating.”

Among other things, Sawyer helped lead an outreach effort last year to get funding for a new high school passed by voters, managed the district through the layoffs of 30 teachers three years ago, and has been involved in an effort with other cities to come up with alternatives to standardized testing.

Sawyer is in the middle of a three-contract with the school department, agreed to last year.

In a statement released Tuesday, he deflected credit to his staff.

“Any success I might enjoy is directly attributable to the amazing work done by the more than seven hundred people who collaborate to meet the needs of the students of Attleboro. It is an honor to lead them and a pleasure to serve this great community,” he said.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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