LARGO — Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael A. Grego has announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year with his last day being July 1. Grego has served in public education in the state of Florida for 42 years, with the last 10 of his career as superintendent of Pinellas County Schools.
“Pinellas County Schools is an exceptional district because of the amazing staff, students, families and community that work together to achieve excellence. I am so proud of our collective accomplishments over the past ten years,” Grego said in a press release. “Together, we have taken a district that desperately needed stability and brought a renewed focus on student achievement, district and school operations, facility modernizations and fiscal discipline. Collaboratively, we developed one of the highest achieving, most productive, accomplished and student-centered districts in the state and nation. But, like all great relay races, it is time to pass the baton. I am excited to watch the race continue at what I know will be an even greater pace of improvement. I am honored to have served the staff, students and families of Pinellas County and sincerely appreciate their support over the last 10 years.”
School Board chairwoman Eileen Long commended Grego for his work in Pinellas County.
“Dr. Grego has done a truly outstanding job making Pinellas County Schools a national leader in public education,” she said. “I have served with Dr. Grego over the last five years and know he has given his all to the students and staff of Pinellas County Schools. He has served with honor, integrity and above all heart, and has always led with what is best for the students. I am deeply saddened by the news, but I know Dr. Grego is leaving our district in a much better place than when he started, and I am confident our next superintendent has an exceptional foundation to continue our progress. Dr. Grego will be greatly missed, and I wish him much happiness in his retirement.”
Under Grego’s leadership, Pinellas County Schools have seen improvement in a variety of areas. According to school district press release, in 2015, the district earned districtwide accreditation for the first time, and has maintained its accreditation status. The district’s overall graduation rate increased from slightly under 70 percent to 92 percent. Graduation rates for subgroups increased as well. The Black graduation rate rose from 56 percent to 86.3 percent and the Hispanic graduation rate increased from 64 percent to 92 percent. Students with disabilities increased their graduation rate from under 40 percent to 83.8 percent and English Learners advanced from 48 percent to 91 percent.
During his tenure, Grego developed a Board-approved, nationally recognized Bridging the Gap plan to eliminate the gap between Black and non-Black students, and led the creation of a district Hispanic Achievement Council to oversee the academic advancement and opportunity of all Hispanic students. Since the 2012-13 school year there has been a 79% increase in the number of students taking a college-level course while in high school with over 13,000 students engaging in accelerated courses in 2020-21.
Most recently, the district established a comprehensive plan centered around early learning to address the needs of the county’s youngest learners. Under Grego’s leadership, the district eliminated over 20 D and F schools, and has increased the number of A, B and C schools. Additionally, 22 schools exited state turnaround status during his tenure.