Bibb BOE discusses goals for school district

jmink@macon.comApril 28, 2014 

The Bibb County school board spent Monday night discussing goals for the district, as the board looks to hire a new superintendent.

Board members had agreed on a process during a previous meeting, after several board members requested the group schedule a goal planning session before they select superintendent candidates. The board is reviewing 23 applications for the job. Interim Superintendent Steve Smith’s contract ends June 30.

“I am hopeful that this process will help us prioritize our goals,” board member Wanda West said.

Early in the meeting, board members discussed broad goals and specific tasks on their wish lists. For example, one goal was producing high-performing students. Thelma Dillard, the board’s vice president, mentioned focusing on test improvement, as district test scores overall consistently have missed the mark in recent years.

Board member Lynn Farmer discussed her goal of improving alternative school choices for students. Board members also discussed improving stakeholder involvement, and Farmer said she specifically would like to see more partnerships between the school system and the business and higher education communities.

Board member Tom Hudson said the issue of stakeholder involvement is “near and dear to my heart,” particularly reaching out to taxpayers.

Tony Arasi, of the Georgia School Boards Association, was on hand Monday to help guide the school board through the process. In addition to stakeholder involvement and high-performing students, Arasi suggested the board’s goals include high performance among staff members, a focus on resources and an excellent governance team.

The Bibb school district not only is one of the largest in the state, but because most school systems across the country are citywide instead of countywide, it’s among the largest in the nation. Additionally, the Bibb school board is one of the largest boards in the state, he said.

“That can be exciting for a superintendent, and it can be a challenge,” he said. “What are you doing as a board ... to make the job enticing?”

Board President Sue Sipe suggested the board give the superintendent candidates its list of goals and then discuss how those candidates would propose to meet those goals.

“Then we would immediately see that connection with them,” she said.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.

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