Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joe Pye’s performance last year was exemplary, according to the board’s recent assessment.

The school board presented Pye’s annual evaluation letter at Monday’s meeting.

To write the evaluation, each of the seven board members met privately with Pye and as a group in executive session to share their findings.

The process does not involve individual evaluations. There is also no paperwork except the letter, said chairwoman Frances Townsend.

The state Freedom of Information Act allows public bodies to discuss personnel matters in executive session, but prohibits them from making decisions.

The method the district used is legal but questionable, said Bill Rogers, executive director of the South Carolina Press Association.

“I think that’s a sneaky way to get around a meaningful evaluation,” Rogers said. “Then the public has no window or faith in the evaluation process.”

In the letter, the board praised Pye for increasing the graduation rate, being a positive spokesman for the district, implementing innovative programs and delegating more responsibilities to staff.

The evaluation is not tied to Pye’s contract, which has two years remaining, or his salary, which is currently $163,846.