SP trustees 12/21/12

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2012

SP trustees seek public input before new hire

By Rupert Howell

Interim South Panola Schools Superintendent Michael Foster told his board of trustees that South Panola has “… a lot of good things going for you. You need to publicize that more.”

The former superintendent, who retired from Lafayette County, told trustees that he had been on the job, “on and off for three weeks,” and had met many teachers and all the principals.

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His advice to his new board was, “You need to sell your schools. Everybody needs to sell the schools.”
Foster related to experiences in Lafayette County and said that although Oxford School District had better funding, the Lafayette School District is also held in high regard.

He then explained that it was nothing he did in particular to earn praise, but what the community did to, “… sell the school.”

On hand at Tuesday’s meeting was recently elected trustee board member Kenny Hopper who will officially take his seat next month. Hopper was observing the board following completion of a 12-hour mandated course presented by the Mississippi School Board Association for new trustees.

Hopper said Thursday that school officials have kept him, “in the loop” with the process of hiring a permanent superintendent to take office on or before July 1.

MSBA representative Dr. Harold Fisher met with trustees to discuss the hiring process with the board deciding to seek citizen input on the front end of the process by holding a meeting with a group of citizens from each trustee’s district.

Trustees have contracted with MSBA to perform the superintendent search.

Last Tuesday’s monthly meeting was the last official meeting with current Superintendent Keith Shaffer at the helm.

Shaffer thanked the board for their trust and confidence during his time at South Panola said, “I don’t want to be a hindrance—I will stay out of the way unless called upon.”

Trustees voted to change policy so that meetings would begin at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month instead of 7 p.m.

The policy change requires three readings and will probably go into effect at the February meeting.