Selma’s Peterson ends Linden BOE intervews
Joe Peterson, principal of Edgewood Elementary School in the Selma City Schools system
Why do you want to be Superintendent of Linden City Schools?
I’m a hometown boy. Both sides of my family grew up here. I feel like the ventures that I’ve had in education elsewhere, I’d like to come back and give back to Linden.
What are the most important functions of superintendent?
All instruction should be led by the superintendent. The lead instructors in the district should be highly charged. The superintendent should be versed in finance. He should be a person who is out there, trying to secure additional financing for their district. The superintendent should be the spokesperson for the school board.
How would you keep BOE informed?
The regular scheduled board meetings will be one means. I would utilize the website, as well as e-mail, fax, a simple phone call or a cell phone call would be effective means of communicating with the board.
How would you resolve conflict with the BOE?
I would need to make sure I had the policy completely explained and to make absolutely sure I had adequately explained what the policy may be.
If the budget was prorated by 10 percent, how would you recommend budget cuts be made?
I would first look at the current expenses. I would look to conserve energy. I would look at capital outlay. I would also look at the possibility of cutting the cost of transportation if possible.
What are important elements for innovative programs?
It should be research based and data driven.
What curriculum trends have merit?
The state has mandated ARI and AMSTI that encourage students to do hands-on, minds-on learning. They do research and experiments. To have a hands-on experience, they have more relation to what they are learning. They tend to learn faster and tend to learn better.
What changes have you made in your present position?
Technology as an instructional tool (smartboards, and other computer-driven applications.)
What attributes do you look for in a good teacher?
I look to see if the teacher is highly qualified and certified. I look to see if the teacher has a passion for learning and a passion for children.
How would you stimulate professional growth in teachers?
The teachers would be instructed to go to professional development in areas that, through evaluation, have been deemed as areas they need improvement.
How do you handle complaints from principals and parents about a teacher’s performance?
I would make sure the administrators understand that there has to be a paper trail. If the principal has gone the last mile to give the teacher professional development, after notifying the teacher, then – if the teacher hasn’t met the professional development or refused professional development – I would step in and take action.
What is your greatest administrative strength?
I’m a strong male role model. As a result of me being a mentor at the school I’m in now, we’ve brought about incentive programs and character improvement programs.
What is your greatest weakness?
I fail to delegate as much as I should. In some respects, I try to do it all myself.
What is your most outstanding contribution?
We have a mentoring organization at the school I work in – called Men in Motion and Ladies of Love – within these organizations, we’ve been able to “adopt” some of the children in our school and mentor them and serve as role models to them.
The current superintendent of education also serves as principal of Linden Elementary School. Would you be willing to serve in that capacity, also?
Yes. I’m an elementary school principal now. I have a passion for working with kids, especially the elementary school kids.
Could you be released room your current contract?
Would you be willing to move to Linden?