One of the biggest decisions for the future of education in Okolona and Chickasaw County was made Sunday with the naming of Dr. Jerry Woods as the Superintendent of Okolona School District.
Dr. Woods’ education and professional experience lead us to believe at this early stage he is the right man for the job.
He holds a Masters in Education from the University of Memphis and a Doctorate of Curriculum from the University of Mississippi. We feel those universities have exposed Dr. Woods to a wealth of knowledge he can use to push Okolona School District to higher test scores. We also feel those institutions of higher learning have exposed Dr. Woods to the culture and social fabric of Okolona and that knowledge will stand him well as he becomes a part of the community.
We also want to point out Dr. Woods has worked in both academically successful and financially distressed school districts. He will have to skillfully use his experience to manage budgets and show us the way to academic excellence.
This newspaper was also pleasantly pleased to see Dr. Woods address discipline and immediately embrace the role of industry within a school district.
Woods said teachers are trained and hired to teach and those who disrupt the classroom will see discipline enforced firmly and fairly at Okolona schools.
Woods stated he wants industry to “adopt” individual schools and help teachers and administrators form a link between business and students.
He also said he would spend a big part of his first 100 days visiting “stakeholders” in the community.
Dr. Woods realizes that if Okolona schools fall back into conservatorship, the state stands ready to consolidate those schools with other lack-luster district in the area.
He urged community leaders to help him lead and guide Okolona schools up and away from conservatorship.
The stakes are high if he is not successful. We hope all of Chickasaw County will both welcome him and help him as he starts his work with Okolona School District.