Jackson TN - Thursday was the second day of interviews by the School Board in their search for a new Director of Schools.
Tonight's candidates were Dr Neyland Clark, IN, and Dr Dan Lawson, Tullahoma, TN. They were candidates three and four of the six semi-finalists for the director of schools job. The position became available after Superintendent Thomas "Buddy" White announced his intention to retire effective June, 2013.
Dr Neyland Clark was the first of tonight's interviews.
Dr. Neyland G. Clark, superintendent of South Harrison Community School Corporation, Corydon Indiana. He comes from a system of approximately 3100 students but also has superintendent experience in the states 5th largest district.
AUDIO CUT 1 - Dr Clark Neyland talks about his current district
Dr Clark told WNWS that he knows coming from a district that is 98% white hurts the appearance of his ability to address diversity issues;
AUDIO- CUT 5 Clark had these comments
Dr Clark told the board members that in order to build school population, which affect both school report cards and financial resources a "state of the art Pre-K program" was essential.
AUDIO - CUT 2 Dr Clark summarizes his remarks
Dr Clark also tied population growth to financial stability
AUDIO - CUT 3 Dr Clark
Next up was Dr Dan Lawson.
Lawson is the superintendent of the Tullahoma City School District where he has been for 15 years. Some may know him through his Jackson, TN ties as the father of the reigning Miss Tennessee, Chandler Lawson.
According to the Tullahoma City website Students attend four neighborhood elementary schools, two middle schools, and a comprehensive high school. The student to teacher ratio is 20-to-1 and 69% of high school graduates advance to college. The system boasts a student population of 3.500.
Dr Lawson has 31 years of experience in education including time in Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
Lawson was a gregarious and outgoing interviewee. He had the board members smiling and even laughing with his jokes and anecdotes. When asked about his toughest decision he told the board it was whether to start applying for superintendent positions, when asked about his access in dealing with various members of the public he said he couldn't have a totally open door policy but he would be out in the community and available to parents and faculty and his secretary "knew" how to handle salesman.
Lawson told members of the need for a director of schools to be visible and available in the community and he was prepared to take that on. He stated he was active in his local rotary club, optimist club, church, and would be involved in sports.
He said the way to build trust accomplish visibility. He gave much the same answer when asked about communicating with board, faculty, community, and students.
Asked about diversity experience Lawson said after looking at local demographics we did not have a race issue instead we have a socioeconomic issue that mirrors the population of his district. He said they struggle with the same problems.
AUDIO CUT 1 - Dr. Dan Lawson
On questions about Budget, Lawson did not give much detail but said he while he was not a fan of the Financial Management Act of 1981, it is the rule you have to go by the rules.
AUDIO - CUT 2 Dr. Dan Lawson
All the candidates are asked questions about Pre-K and the issue is addressed in the JMCS Long Range Strategic Plan
AUDIO - CUT 3 Dr Dan Lawson
All the candidates are asked about incorporating technology in education. Dr Lawson told of one of his specific project that he thought very successful
AUDIO CUT 4 Dr Dan Lawson
Interviews will wrap up on Friday with the final two candidates. Meetings start at 5:30 and the public is invited to attend.
Copyright © 2012 JacksonsNewsTalk.com. All Rights Reserved.