New superintendent eager to step into role

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Have you been able to set an exact date yet on when you will be able to start your work in Demopolis as superintendent of the school system?

Yes, and I am really excited about it. My first day in Demopolis will be May 16.

Coming in at the end of a school year, what are some of the things you will able to work on at that time?

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Well, personnel issues are probably most important in closing schools. Those are the two most important items that come up at that time, with the coaching vacancies. Hopefully by then I will be very involved prior to May 16. But then you also have to look at staffing for next year and decisions about personnel, which are very important. But that is something I will get to experience closing the school year with Dr. (Wesley) Hill, which is a huge plus. You know, looking at closing the school year and how it is done in the Demopolis School System will be a huge plus for me.

With the exit of two coaches and a search for a new Westside Elementary principal, you have been involved with the replacement process already. What have you been doing?

I have been named one of the committee members that will be interviewing candidates. I think our first meeting will be next week, so I am really excited about that. It is a great opportunity for coaches to come to Demopolis. It has a great reputation and great tradition of excellence, so I think we will have a quality group of candidates to look at. You certainly hate to lose the coaches, and I wish them well, but we will certainly hope to find someone who will continue that tradition.

With the strain involved with juggling your responsibilities in Tuscaloosa and what you are involved with already here, why get involved so early?

It is just really important I think for the transition to go well. I think, with all of Dr. Hill&8217;s experience, having an opportunity to work with him, see how things have been done and be involved in the process for planning for next year, the sooner I can get involved in the decisions and the committees that have been formed in the schools the better prepared I will be for July 1.

What are some of the goals you have set for the system once you are comfortable in place as superintendent?

One of the things I want to do is lead the system towards setting short and long-term goals that would

involve getting to know the administrators, faculty and staff at each of the schools. But, I do have some short-range goals, as far as making sure I am involved in school improvement process at each school and being involved with the principles. Just trying to look at improving an already super school system. That is such the great thing about Demopolis City Schools &8212; they have such a reputation of academic and athletic excellence. What I want to do is build on our strengths. Just look at those things we are doing well and look at areas that are weak and try to improve them. I am really excited because the main thing is looking at how we can improve student achievement, of course that is the goal every year. That will be my major focus along with supporting each school so that they can be the best they can be.

How are your wife and family adjusting for the move from Tuscaloosa to Demopolis to join the community?

That is something we are working on right now. We are working vigorously to get our house on the market. We have been down to look for a home. We hope to have a house pretty soon. My son got to come down with us last week and visit and go by his school, though he didn&8217;t go in. He did go by and see where he will be going. We are really excited about it and they are adjusting very well. My youngest son got a Demopolis Tigers T-shirt the other day and he just had to wear it to school, so they are adjusting very well and are really excited about being Demopolis Tigers.