Op-Ed: Pathway to Excellence for Johnston County Schools

By: Kay Carroll, Candidate For Johnston County School Board

Leadership is the key to our success-both on the Board of Education and in the Superintendent’s Chair.

1.   Choosing the right Superintendent is the most crucial decision this Board of Education will ever make. What we should be looking for in a Superintendent are these traits:

  • have a clear vision for the district working with the BOE
  • be an instructional leader: understand that the most important job is to make sure students are learning and achieving at a high
  • be an effective communicator: with parents, staff, media and at public meetings
  • be a good manager: responsible for a large organization and directs progress and performance
  • be flexible: has to work with many different people and organizations, but maintain the district vision and goals
  • be a risk taker and not afraid to make a commitment:  boldly set goals and put programs and resources in place to reach those goals
  1. Financial stability and accountability: set budget priorities and the funding needed to achieve those priorities. Then the BOE and the Superintendent present budget to County Commissioners. Boldly defend the request with facts and data. Then live within the funding received. This will help build trust and confidence within our schools and communities.
  2. Perform a Curriculum Inventory across the District: the Superintendent and BOE need to know what curriculum, if any, is being used at each school. We need to move back to the state curriculum guide for each subject and develop our pacing guides so that all material is covered during the year and our students have a chance to perform well on these tests. The teachers need to know they have the support of everyone from the principal all the way up to the Superintendent and BOE. We need to return to age-old tenets of competency in readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic. This will help build trust and confidence within our schools and communities.
  3. Having a Shared Vision for the District: TRUE unity comes with a shared vision from all of us. With the BOE leading the way and including the teachers, parents, and community leaders in embracing and supporting that vision. Doing this, we can establish the roadmap, the checkpoints, and make the needed adjustments as we go along to keep our improvements on track. It should be our common goal to educate students and improve their performance, thus taking our district back to the top. We need to remove as many obstacles as possible and provide our teachers with the resources, (i.e. curriculum, pacing guides, and related materials) and the direction to create an environment where they feel safe and supported. The only concern our teachers should have when they enter the classroom is educating the students! This will help build trust and confidence within our schools and communities.
  4. Focus on Educating Students- the main objective and focus of a school system should be educating our students. We need to keep the MAIN THING, THE MAIN THING. That is the number one job that we all signed on to do. If we keep that our number one goal and all work toward that end, our students will learn, performance will increase, and our school system will, once again, be one of the top districts in the state. This will help build trust and confidence within our schools and communities.

I’m not saying that this journey will be easy. No, it will take hard work and everyone working for the same goal, think teamwork. However, based on my 16 years experience both as a board member and board chair, I believe in the potential we have in becoming a high performing school system again. This, and my grandchildren, is why I’m seeking your support for a seat on the Board of Education.

Editors Note:  Any candidate running for political office in Johnston County is encouraged to submit an opinion editorial to JoCoReport. Our email address is JohnstonCountyReport@gmail.com