New Houston superintendent has busy first day

alopez@macon.comJune 2, 2014 

Mark_Scott

Mark Scott and Beth Jarrell attend to administrative duties on Scott’s first day as Houston County school superintendent.

WOODY MARSHALL — wmarshall@macon.com Buy Photo

PERRY -- Before arriving at his office Monday morning on his first day as Houston County school superintendent, Mark Scott made five stops to check in with staff.

“We got a lot going on,” Scott said. “I’m just proud to represent Houston County.”

His day got off to an early start. Scott met with the system’s maintenance director about 6:30 a.m. to discuss two facility projects that will be completed by the end of the month. In addition, Scott visited Northside Middle School on the first day of its 21-day summer school program for district middle school students to recover credits they failed to earn.

He stopped at Thomson Middle School in Centerville where special education students will start extended instruction next week, and he went to Mossy Creek Middle School in Kathleen where there is a summer program for about 500 students in the district’s gifted and talented program.

He also visited Northside High School, where about 1,600 lunches were being prepared as part of the district’s summer nutrition program.

Reached by phone Monday, several members of Scott’s executive leadership staff praised his work ethic.

“He’s going to be the first one there in the morning and be the last person there at night,” said Eric Payne, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. “He leads by example. Everything that he expects of us he models, like working hard, putting your time in and making the right decisions for our system.”

Finalizing the budget

Scott is the fifth superintendent Stephen Thublin has worked with in his 12 years in the district’s central office.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Scott met with Thublin, assistant superintendent for finance and business operations, to talk about finalizing the fiscal 2015 budget they will present to the school board next week.

“Out of all the superintendents he’s probably the most analytical and data-driven,” Thublin said. “He’s not quick to react. He uses research and proven practices to come up with a decision.”

With about 3,800 employees in the district, personnel will account for as much as 90 percent of the budget, Scott said.

Scott and Thublin presented a preliminary budget proposal to the board in May and an updated one, including changes suggested by board members, will be made public after the regular board meeting June 10. A vote on the final budget is scheduled for a called board meeting June 26, Scott said.

Monday, the district’s community and school affairs office updated the Houston County school system website with Scott’s superintendent statement.

The front page of the district’s website also is promoting a PowerPoint presentation covering the career of Robin Hines, who retired as Houston County’s superintendent Friday.

Scott had not talked to Hines in the first hours of his administration, but he said he talked to him throughout last week and this past weekend.

As the assistant superintendent for human resources, Scott worked with Hines in the central office for three years.

Taking advantage of his retirement, Hines spent Monday on his motorcycle, riding to New Orleans with his wife.

Reached by phone, Hines reiterated his support for Scott and for the executive leadership around him.

“Mark is a great guy, ... is extremely professional, and he is going to do a great job,” Hines said. “To say the transition was seamless is an understatement.”

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