|Updated: 7/06/2011 6:34 am
||Published: 7/05/2011 7:07 pm
His first official day on the job, new Pulaski County Special School District Superintendent, Dr. Jerry Guess, sets his first priority as getting new schools ready for the first day of class.
Construction is still going on at the new Maumelle High School. The building itself is finished, and the classrooms are ready for students, but the outside is still being worked on. Some projects won't be ready for the first day of school on August 15th.
The other new school opening this fall is Sylvan Hills Middle School. Dr. Jerry Guess says public education is one of the most important things. "We have a tremendous obligation to do the best we can for our young people."
Nearly 900 students plan to attend the new Maumelle High School. Crews are still working on the east side of the building, including the football field and stadium seating that won't be done in time for the first home game. The team will play the first two home games elsewhere. The theater also won't be ready for any productions anytime soon.
New Maumelle High School Principal, Dr. Tamekia Brown, says all areas of the building, including the stadium, will be completed sometime in the fall semester.
Dr. Guess says he's impressed with the preparations so far. While there are several other major challenges the district is facing, right now the focus is getting ready for a successful start to the school year. "We must do everything we can each day to leave in the afternoon and feel we've done our job, and come back the next day and do it a little better.”
Dr. Guess is working with the state appointed Interim Superintendent, Bobby Lester, through this transitional period while Dr. Guess gets acquainted with the district. Arkansas Education Commissioner, Dr. Tom Kimbrell, will be appointing an advisory team to deal with the major challenges PCSSD is facing, including the district's fiscal distress status. Dr. Guess says his job is to make sure operations run smoothly.