8:52pm

Wed June 8, 2011
Education

Another School Super Thursday

The Daviess County school superintendent who wants to be Fayette County's top educator views himself as someone who can enhance a vision for education.  Robert Shelton, one of three finalists vying for the superintendent’s position in Lexington sees retiring superintendent Stu Silbeman as a visionary.  Silberman also hailed from Daviess County...something Shelton recognizes, but doesn’t thnk it gives him an unfair advantage.

“.I think coming from Daviess County lets me know what it means to follow Stu and have an understanding of a vision and how to continue to move it forward, but I also would want people to understand that Stu and I are two different people,” said Shelton.

Administrators in Kentucky school districts are preparing for a number of new initiatives this fall.  That might make it particularly challenging for a new superintendent.  Shelton admits new academic standards, new student assessments, along with a new evaluation and accountability model create new challenges.

“All of those things make it challenging for a school district from a policy standpoint.  We’re kind of moving and working toward a moving target.  The focus has to be on quality instruction and student achievement,” added Shelton.

Shelton says his western Kentucky district has reduced the achievement gap by double-digits.  He says a heavy focus on literacy and math in all grade levels has thinned the education gaps that separate white students and students of color, as well as rich and poor students.  Shelton adds he would like to know more about what’s called ‘culturally responsive teaching.’

“That’s an exceptional opportunity for staff to learn about how to work with students and to make sure that we eliminate barriers and make sure we build the right type of relationships so that students can succeed,” explained Shelton.

On Tuesday, the Fayette County community got a chance to meet Jessamine County School Superintendent Lu( LEW)  Young.  Clark County Schools Superintendent Elaine Farris will get her chance today (Thursday).  A school board decision on a new school superintendent could come Friday.