“Having Mr. Thurmond become the superintendent means the county is becoming more stable,” board chairman Melvin Johnson said. “He has done an excellent job to work and communicate with the community.”
The school board unanimously elected Thurmond as the superintendent through June 2015. After the vote, Thurmond took a moment to thank the board and the community for supporting him.
“I am honored that Dr. Johnson and the board offered me the opportunity to continue as the superintendent,” Thurmond said. “This helps to provide stability at a critical point and give direction for the district, as we prepare for the December visit from SACS. I hope to continue to be transparent and be a good listener along with providing honest dialogue among all stakeholders.”
Johnson said Thurmond has helped to restore the community’s trust in the board, depleted the deficit and created a surplus for the budget.
The school board’s focus is on a few key items — continue to regain the community’s and teachers’ trust, provide resources for the students to have better learning and to have full accreditation, Johnson said.
As the district continues to work towards gaining full Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation, it has taken the steps for completing a strategic plan and preparing for the accreditation review team coming Dec. 9 and 10. The school system will then implement an action plan in working towards complete reaccreditation.
To receive full accreditation again the school board put in place these two plans back in the spring. At last week’s meeting, the superintendent gave an update on the progress the district was making.
During the presentation, Ramona Tyson, superintendent’s chief of staff, told of a planning session that was put together to help the board receive community input for the future of the district.
Students, parents and teachers told the board how appreciative they were for having their input considered in looking for ways to improve the school system. Board member Karen Carter said she commended the efforts of everyone who attended the session.
“These young people had clear thoughts and ideas about what our school district should look like,” Carter said. “I think that our future is in great hands.”
In the strategic plan, the school district will have to complete 22 directives including finding ways for more community involvement.
The school system will complete a strategic plan and wait for a review team to visit Dec. 9 and 10.