“The school board represents the public’s voice in public education, providing citizen governance for what the public schools need and what the community wants.” — NSBA
This quote from the National School Board Association’s website sounds really great in theory, doesn’t it? You may be thinking “I wish that were really the case”
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the PSW is here to tell you that in Meridian, Mississippi, this is the case. The current MPSD Board of Trustees has shown — more than once — that they are willing to listen to the citizenry of Meridian and respond to our input(much more on this in a later entry) and that they are very serious about providing a world-class education for all of our children.
So, do you know your Board members?
If not, don’t worry — The PSW is here to help.
Today’s is the first in a series of interviews titled From the Source, in which we will introduce you, the tax-paying public, to the professionals of the public school system that your tax dollars support.
We were glad to have the privilege of recently speaking with MPSD Board of Trustees Vice-President Teresa Hodges.
Mrs. Hodges is a product of the Meridian Public School District, having graduated from Meridian High School in 1988. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hampton University and a Masters of Business Administration from Florida Tech.
She is a former business owner and has worked as an accountant for several corporations. Currently a financial and business analyst for Tower Automotive here in Meridian, she is married to Kip Hodges and is the mother of twin boys William and Boston, age three, and is step-mother to Teia, age nineteen, who is currently a Sophomore at the University of West Alabama.
The exchange was as follows:
PSW: “Teresa, the MPSD Board of Trustees is currently in the search process for a new Superintendent of Education. What type of person are we going to get?”
TH: “The board wants to hire someone who understands small communities and their schools; who has finance and budgeting skills;who is an effective communicator and good listener; who is hands-on, approachable and optimistic; who can make tough decisions and follow through with them and makes those decisions based on the best interest of the children; someone who considers strong and consistent leadership by school principals as an essential element for improving teaching and learning; who has broad experience in K-12 education including teaching, instructional leadership and school administration; a valid MS administrators license or eligibility to obtain one; who possesses a master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university, and has successful experience in public schools as a teacher and administrator with documented experience as a building principal and/or central office administrator.”
PSW: “Why did you want to serve on the MPSD Board of Trustees?”
TH: “I want to try to make a difference before my kids are old enough to attend school rather than sitting on the sidelines.”
PSW: “Do you think it’s possible to run a school district with the same efficiency that it takes to run a successful business?”
TH: “Yes. I think any industry or profession can take proven business models and adapt the same concepts.”
PSW: “What is the most impactful action community members can take toward making Meridian’s public schools the very best in the world?”
TH: “More involvement by the community, churches and parents. Come to the schools, get involved. Find out what is really going on and ways you can make a difference. The schools across the country that are rated the highest are that way because they have support from parents, community and businesses. Consider every child as your own.”
PSW: “Thanks for talking to me today.”
In Vice President Hodges’ last response, she gives us a very clear road-map to world-class public schools.
Will we follow it?
She also tells us to “Consider every child as your own.”
Isn’t that what our faith requires of us?
I assume you answered “yes” to both of these questions.
If so, let’s start doing God’s work NOW.
Teresa Hodges may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org