Public gets a chance to meet the first of three candidates for Jackson Madison County Director of Schools.
Ms Verna Ruffin spent two hours fielding and answering question from about a dozen of the sixty of so people who attended Monday night's public hearing portion of the candidate meeting.
Audience members asked questions that were phrased many ways but most had the same theme of race, race relations, discipline, and diversity.
Ruffin is currently the Associate Superintendent, Tulsa, OK, Public Schools of an area called the Academic Achievement Zone.
Ruffin told the audience, made up largely of educators, former educators, and elected officials, that before applying for the job she researched Jackson, TN and after meeting the people here she said she fell in love with the community. Ruffin said she is not applying everywhere telling the group it must be the right fit for her and the stakeholders.
On several occasions Ruffin told the audience she was "data driven". If the the data supported the conclusion then she would consider it as an option.
Asked about discipline, she said there was not just one answer but it was necessary to dig into the problem and that often social or emotional issues could be uncovered.
Ruffin described herself as a bold leader who wasn't afraid to make decisions. She expected the board to tell her whether they want a leader for the system or did they have another style in mind for the job.
After the meeting News Director, Keith Sherley, spoke with several who attended about their impressions of Ms Ruffin.
Click to play AUDIO: County Commissioner William Martin
Click to play AUDIO: NAACP President Harrell Carter
Click to play AUDIO: Morris Merriweather
Click to play AUDIO: Ms. Verna Ruffin
Click to play AUDIO: JMCS Chairman David Clifft
Copyright © 2012 JacksonsNewsTalk.com. All Rights Reserved.