Thurmond took over the school district as the replacement for former Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson and since then, has created a sense of relief for students, parents, educators and taxpayers during a time of turmoil with the former school board and central office.
Since last school year, Thurmond said he has gained a greater appreciation of the importance of professional learning.
“As we increase expectations for student academic growth and achievement, it is critical that we enhance and strengthen training at all levels,” he said. “The work requires an additional focus that has to be supported by very specific instructional actions, which result in improved student learning outcomes.”
Thurmond said the school district has to become a learning organization at every level. The school board approving the superintendent’s recommendation to eliminate the remaining four furlough days for teachers, as well as a 1 percent across the board cost of living increase for employees, served as an incentive for many new teachers, he said.
The district has also hired six new principals — three for elementary, one for middle and two for high school. And for the fiscal 2015 budget, Thurmond said the school district has added an additional 100 positions to reduce class sizes and support student growth and achievement.