New Gadsden County School Superintendent Roger Milton has officially started his third month on the job.
In a recent interview with the Herald, Milton talked about the direction he intends to take the school district.
His priority list is long and he plans to work hard to make this district one of the best in the state.
“I want to instill pride in the district,” he said.
Milton said he wanted teachers, administrators, students and parents to be proud of what the district is doing.
“There was a time,” he explained, “that if you went to college from Gadsden County, professors expected great things from you. I intend to bring that kind of pride
back to the district.”
Once he was sworn in back in November, Milton hit the ground running.
He started by meeting with district directors, administrators and principals in a group as well as individuals about how important their role plays in the success of the
The purpose of those meetings, he said, was to help boost morale and having all of the employees feeling good about the district.
One way he intends to accomplish that goal is to re-brand the district by creating a learning experience for students and developing pride in schools.
This will be an ongoing process, he explained, and will be announced sometime in the near future.
About testing, Milton said he is very proud of the first year that the Gadsden District was under the new Florida Standards testing. Gadsdem was the only district in the state that increased its grade from a D to a C.
“We made some strides there and look forward o continuing that,” he said.
Some of the district students did very well on those tests, Milton added.
Graduation rates are up overall to 68.4 percent, he stated.
In meeting with the district instructional employees Milton has started by challenging them to be pro-active and looking at the data and strategy.
Beginning January 7th, there will be Saturday classes.
Students are encouraged to participate and there will be a breakfast and lunch as well as transportation provided with certified teachers to help those students excel.
On the campaign trail Milton as well as the other candidates discussed the need to consolidate schools in the district.
When asked about consolidation, Milton had this to say:
“Having been a board member for the past 16 years, I am well aware of the things that need to be done in connection with our aging schools.
“We expect a world-class education for our students. We expect them to have the latest and greatest when it comes to technology and we expect them to have facilities that are well maintained.
“I have currently submitted a proposal as far as consolidation to the school board which it is working on. A school board retreat will be held on Jan. 11th to discuss these proposals.
“I am willing to take any suggestions from any stakeholders on how to move forward.
“The district is limited at this point on many programs such as performing arts and music and are looking at ways to expand other programs as well.
“I am excited about the opportunities this is going to bring (consolidation) as far as career technical education and the ability to provide those various programs when it comes to more rigorous middle and high schools with advanced placement.
“Yes, it is on the front of the radar screen when it comes to the current superintendent and it is about what will be in the best interest of the students.”
No consolidation plans have been made public at this time.
Over the next several years, Milton said, he was looking forward to bringing back the pride in the district and letting employees know how much they and their input are valued by the district.
You can view this interview in its entirety at havanaherald.net