QA with Tony Pittman: Pittman talks education

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When did you come to the Demopolis City School system and what positions have you held?

I came to the system in 1996, and I&8217;ve had the privilege of working at all of the schools except for Westside Elementary before this year. I worked at U.S. Jones for a few years then left Jones to go to the high school for one year and left the high school the following year to go to the middle school. Also I&8217;ve been assistant football coach for 10 years and head girl&8217;s basketball coach for 10 years and athletic director for three years at the middle school.

Since you have experience in both the athletic and administrative areas of the school, which do you enjoy most?

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With the administrative part or the academic part, it&8217;s a learning experience for me. One that I&8217;m going to take on and learn as much as I can and help make a difference as much as I can. Right now, if I had to choose, I would go with the athletic part because that&8217;s what I&8217;ve been doing for the last 10 or 11 years. The academic part of it is a challenge, balancing both of them, but it&8217;s something I&8217;ll look forward to doing in the years to come.

What challenges do you face having to split your time between the two elementary schools?

The first challenge I see is working for two different principals. I don&8217;t see that as a challenge, I see it as an opportunity to learn from two different administrators. You may have two different leadership styles, and it gives me the opportunity to learn from both sides and see which leadership style works best for me.

What is your favorite part of your job?

By far, dealing with the kids. I love working with the kids. A lot of people look at it as a job, but I really look at it as a calling for me. My wife says I&8217;ve gone crazy because I work in the schools all year long, and then, during my summer time when a lot of the teachers are off relaxing, I&8217;m at the recreation center teaching swimming lessons and dealing with the kids there. I really believe it&8217;s a calling for me, and I love dealing with kids.

What are your goals or plans for the students and teachers for the two schools you help to oversee?

Right now, I would say I have a goal of bridging the gap between the students in K-2 and grades 3-5 and getting the teachers to work together as a team to rear our children and teach our children. So that would be a goal, and I think that&8217;s not too far off. This system is a wonderful system as far as the teachers working together, administrators sharing ideas and the common goal is we want what&8217;s best for our children in Demopolis City Schools, educationally, financially. We have a holistic approach and that&8217;s what we&8217;re about here. That is one of the things that has really kept me here. Teachers and administrators work hard, and they want to see their children learn. We want to make sure when they leave one school they&8217;ve had the basics, because each year you add more to their plate and we want the children to be ready when they leave Westside and go over to Jones and then all the way up. I think the teachers are working together, because in the end we want our children to be successful so we&8217;re going to do to educate them.

Do you have children in the Demopolis City School system?

I&8217;m married to Stephanie Pittman; she&8217;s a kindergarten teacher at Westside. We have two kids, Shannon Pittman who is a seventh grader at Demopolis Middle School and Tony Pittman Jr., we call him T.J., who is a third grader at U.S. Jones.

How do your children feel about you being at their schools?

T.J. doesn&8217;t mind so much. Shannon is the one that&8217;s really happy because I&8217;m not at the middle school anymore. When I got the call from Mr. Vickers about the job I think she was more excited than I was because daddy won&8217;t be there now. I love my wife, and we put our kids first, and we want to see them succeed, and we work very hard to educate them.