New superintendent answers questions in depth about a variety of issues
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jun. 21, 2013
Fort Myers, Fla.
"I am going to work as if I'm going to be here a very long time," said Dr. Nancy Graham Friday as she met with reporters for nearly an hour answering dozens of questions.
Lee County's new superintendent is promising to lead the district as if she's got the job for good even though she only has a one year contract right now. Just two days after limiting how many questions she would answer, she's now addressing whatever questions you may have.
Four In Your Corner's Dave Culbreth has been asking them….to get you answers.
We can't get in every question that you may have. But and as a parent whose seen three daughters go through school. I came up with some questions I think you, as parents might want me to ask. Here they are:
Since Dr. Graham can hire the administrative staff she wants will that make a difference in your kids, or will it be the same ole, same ole?
"There is no status quo. The positions that I am putting in place will all be about coaching school leadership and instructional personnel to help children do a better job in the classroom"
Will you be firing teachers, aides, and support personnel?
"No. I will tell you that my intent is that my role will be principals and above"
She was the principal at Naples High School, so will you be bringing people in from Collier County?
"I have sought no one from any particular area"
Will there be more school resource officers on campuses?
"That's going to be a board decision and that's going to be a budgetary conversation. We are going to do everything we know how to do to be sure our children are safe. How that's going to look, I can't really tell you"
Will there be changes to make schools better academically?
"I don't know if change is the right word but there will have to efforts to make better gains than we are making in some areas and I'm not going to be as hung up on grades. Obviously you want grades to go up. We don't want 'F' schools. We want grades to go up but what we really want is that children are going in the right direction"
What difference will parents see that they haven't seen in the past?
"My hope is that they will see a difference in customer service. They will be a priority. Their questions will be answered"
Does a one year contract make you do things differently?
"I am going to work as if I'm going to be here a very long time and my plan and hope will be that even if I leave, there will be a system in place that whoever walked in could take that system, obviously make their own tweaks based on their philosophy but that it would be a system that could run even after I'm not here."
As far as the firing of two of the previous superintendent's top assistants yesterday, both of whom were minorities, Dr. Graham said she did what she thought was in the best interest of the school district and beyond that she can't really discuss the issue.