Scott closes out Day 1 Linden BOE interviews
Dr. Rhinnie Scott, director of career technical education for the Greene County Board of Education.
Why do you want to be Superintendent of Linden City Schools?
I have researched your area, which is the same in which I live. The Linden City Schools is a progressive school district. I can see that you have a very high ad focused vision and high expectations. You have a career technical center here and I have done extensive research (in this area)…I would like to implement the research that I have found so that when students exit school, they are prepared for a career.
What are the most important functions of superintendent?
First of all, it should be consistent with the legislative intent. Superintendent function should be commensurate with the function of the community and also consistent with the needs of the students as well as the parents. The superintendent serves as the CEO to the Board of Education…serves as the educational leader for the school district.
How would you keep the BOE informed?
Through various communications. I believe in communicating via Internet, text, news media and the most appropriate way is during the monthly meeting. You can use your webpage.
How would you resolve conflict with the BOE?
It is the superintendent’s responsibility to educate the board about policy and present to the board some data, which shows why the policy is legitimate. And bring in some external support if needed. I think if the board understands the nature of the policy…would bring them around to actually believe in the policy and change.
If the budget was prorated by 10 percent, how would you recommend, budget cuts be made?
There are standards that must be met in offering the education curriculum. If the budget was cut, there may be some resources that we can decrease the use of. I, certainly, would not want to look directly at cutting personnel. I would recommend taking a look at the facility and how the facility is being used. Is there a way to reduce the cost in operating the facility. My last resort would be to cut teachers. That would only be a recommendation if we were getting into real financial trouble.
What are important elements for innovative programs?
That everyone has the team concept and share the same visions and goals.
What curriculum trends have merit?
It’s always been reading, writing and arithmetic…We need to have good science introduced. I’m referring to where students actually do projects and complete research…where they do and create innovative things,
What changes have you made in your present position?
Scheduling is another aspect that I addressed in the area of career tech. It is usually set up on a block schedule. There was a period of more than 90 minutes within our school district and I found that it was not as effective as it should have been. I observed the classes and I learned that the students’ attention could not be retained for the full period.
What attributes do you look for in a good teacher?
The teacher has to be compassionate about being a teacher. I believe that if a teacher is compassionate, that teacher will organize and develop lessons that address the learning needs of students.
How would you stimulate professional growth in teachers?
You have to make sure professional growth opportunities are available. You must assess the teacher and identify what that teacher’s strengths and weaknesses are. You must ensure that the way the weaknesses are presented to the teacher and incorporated into the professional development plan, that this is a way to strengthen the teacher overall and not a way to terminate (them).
How do you handle complaints from principals and parents about a teacher’s performance?
If complaints are coming in, I’m sure the principal is documenting it. Before the principal brings this to the superintendent, I’m sure the principal has done some instructional training with the teacher.
What is your greatest administrative strength?
My ability to execute an action plan effectively and successfully. I have been blessed with the ability and the talent to listen. I can communicate well and I can organize.
What is your greatest weakness?
Sometimes people are intimidated by the way I speak, They say I’m too sure of myself…and they say that offends some people.
What is your most outstanding contribution?
Last year we were evaluated, which it was time for our five-year review, we were evaluated and we had to move into a new facility. We had worked so hard to be certified and the facility we moved into was not certified. I was very proud of the teachers because they worked so hard and it was not their fault. They worked very hard to get every course certified. Every teacher that was in career tech earned an advanced degree. When I was at the high school, we were in danger of the state coming in and taking over the district if the high school did not improve it’s performance…At the end of the year, the school made AYP. I was very proud of that.
The current superintendent of education also serves as principal of Linden Elementary School. Would you be willing to serve in that capacity, also?
That is absolutely amazing. I have served children in grades 4-12 as an administrator. I have not ever served, except for testing, K-3. It would be an honor.
Could you be released room your current contract?
Would you be willing to move to Linden?
Yes but, of course, we would have to do some negotiations there.