Leesburg- Lee County is looking for a new person to lead the school system. Dozens of educators and community members urged the school board to find someone who will listen to and communicate with them.
"I'd like to see them go where ever they need to go to find such a person," says retired principal Opal Cannon. The board held two voluntary hearings to get input on what they should look for in current superintendent Bill Lewis's replacement.
Lewis has led the school system through some high-profile controversies, including the hiring and firing of a high school principal and the expulsion of a senior who left a steak knife in his truck. Now the board wants help in finding a leader who can serve both the schools and the community.
"This county has a reputation for excellence and it didn't just happen and let's concentrate on those things that we have done well and get a man, woman who can enhance what we've done," notes retired teacher Martha Dye.
Not only is the board listening, but they are asking the public for nominations. In turn those nominees will be invited to apply for the position. But they say whoever the board chooses must be in touch with the needs of the entire community.
"The prime concern among the faculty members, the community, and the students is to provide a non-threatening atmosphere to work with the whole group in setting goals and then inspire them to reach those goals," adds Cannon. Something she says only an educator with experience in all grades, not just high school will have.