Aldrich interviews Monday for BCS superintendent job
Brewton City School officials, faculty, staff, and residents had their first chance to meet and hear from one of the six finalists for the job of superintendent Monday. Monty Aldrich, superintendent of North Clay CUSD, Louisville, Ill., took questions from board members for just a little over an hour. Each candidate will be asked the same questions and were emailed an advanced copy of the questions prior to their interview.
Other candidates for the job include:
• Dr. Boyd English, principal, Charles Henderson High School, Troy;
• Dr. Carla Evers, director of instructional programs, Gulfport School District, Gulfport, Miss.;
• Kyle S. Kallhoff, superintendent, Chickasaw City Board of Education, Mobile;
• Wade A. Shipman, superintendent, Fayette County Board of Education, Fayette; and,
• Dr. Kenneth C. Varner, superintendent, Tallassee City Schools, Tallassee.
Public interviews will be held April 13-16, 20 and 21 – with one candidate per day with a meet-and-greet reception daily from 4:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. A 15-question interview session will follow. During the day, candidates will tour the system’s facilities, meet teachers, administrators and community leaders and visit local landmarks.
Along with Aldrich interviewing Monday, English interviewed Tuesday. Evers will interview today followed by Shipman on Thursday. Varner will interview Monday and Kallhoff will round out the interview process with an interview on Tues., April 21.
Aldrich’s questions asked consisted of his beliefs of education, experience in developing curriculum, financial management, and other questions.
“My belief in making me a more passionate or compassionate educator is to make sure every kid maximizes every learning opportunity,” Aldrich said. “It is going to take more successful people in the workforce to make this thing a success. People in the classroom need to teach with mannerisms and etiquette. I have seen that it is lost. It may not be that way in the South, but in the North, there seems to be a lack of care. It is not about me, me, me.”
Aldrich said he has spent a significant time at the early childhood education levels.
“I have seen the good and the bad,” he said. “The most important component of curriculum improvement is building relationships with the principals. I rely on them and they and what they need to get for their classrooms.”
“When I became a superintendent, I really had no idea what they did,” he said. “I had three town hall meetings, and I invited all I could. I want to make sure the classrooms are supported with what they need. That has always been my focus, even when we were making cuts. We have always finished in the black. I treat the money like it is my own. I spend it like my own and protect it like my own. I don’t want to see districts fall or dissolve.”
Aldrich said he currently does not have a business manager at his office in Illinois, so he does the budgets.
“I examine every piece of it,” he said. “I keep all the records. I take care of all the federal and state grants. I enjoy that. I am hands on. I am not a control freak, but I like to know where my money is going.”
Aldrich said principals should select their curriculum.
“They are in those buildings,” he said. “They make the decisions for their buildings. I create the budget for them and they manage it. It is like a budget within a budget.”
On working with the community:
“You can’t beat face-to-face,” Aldrich said. “People need to see that I am not an opponent. I have made many friends that way. That is the enjoyable part of it. I love to write. I write columns in the newspaper. I attack the controversial issues. I go to the post office and the banks just to see people. People always have something to say about the schools.”
Working with staff:
“I need to get in the trenches and meet with administration and show them my style while listening to them,” he said. “Reading is fabulous here, but individual instruction time is important. Individual time can make or break a student. I model what I want done. I expect it from everybody. Do what I do and do it well. I need to model the work ethic I want from others. Modeling is the best method I know.”
Aldrich said, if hired, things would take a massive amount of time.
“It is going to be a little different,” he said. “The terminology is different, but I am not afraid of that. I need to be in the buildings and listen to the people and don’t say a lot.”
On what he would do if he got the job:
“I need to be a servant,” he said. “I met with Mr. Smith and saw some similarities in his demeanor. I like that. I want to be at all the events. I will be there because I enjoy it.”
Why he should get the job:
“What you see is what you get,” he said. “I don’t know the other five candidates. I can provide you with trust. I will shoot you straight. You might not always like it. I am humble. It is not about me. I enjoy what I do. I am not miserable or negative. If I am, it is time to do something else. I am compassionate. If I come, I am going to be committed. Call my worst enemy and talk to them.”
Aldrich said he wants to be in the job for a while.
“I am committed,” he said. “If I am not committed when I leave here, I would call and let you know. I am impressed with the interest that you have here. I am who I am. I am very interested and if I am the one you choose, I would like to bring my family in to see the school and the area. That is important to me.”
“I am who I am. I am not a large city guy. I am comfortable in a setting like this. I have researched the area and I have had to do my homework. It is nothing like choosing a school for your kids. It is vitally important.
Aldrich, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played in the minor leagues and also served as a scout for the Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks, is married with two kids.
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