LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Three weeks into June, the upcoming school year may be the last thing many think about.
But for the Little Rock School District’s newest superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright, it’s all he can think of.
Dr. Wright has been preparing for the fall since he was officially hired to replace current superintendent Mike Poore, reflecting on his years of experience to set goals for this newest post. For him, learning is almost a family business – the sibling and son of educators, he knew right away what his path would be.
“I’ve always known from the time I stepped foot in college that I wanted to be an educator,” Dr. Wright explained, sitting down for the first time since his hiring to talk about his vision for Little Rock.
Over the years, that path has traveled through places like D.C., Denver, and Mississippi – ending up in Arkansas. Dr. Wright says it was the connection to the community that drew him here, the many resources from the city and businesses alike that go to making sure the area’s kids are well educated.
“I think the City of Little Rock is really poised to want to make Little Rock a world-class city,” Dr. Wright said, “and in order for a city to be a world-class city, you need to have a world-class public school system.”
He’s arrived to empty buildings, most closed for the summer holiday. But like the students he cares for, he says he has a lot of learning to do before August.
“The number one goal for me in these first 100 days is to learn everything that I can,” said Wright, meeting with district leaders and staff on frequent visits to his new home. “We all play a part in making sure that we do the very best that we can possibly do.”
His goal is to draw on the community and hear the voices of everyone involved, with the main target being transparency and a city-wide form of “group think”. He adds, “the more people who generate ideas, somewhere in those ideas will be the perfect idea to move forward with.”
To add to the community approach to learning, Dr. Wright says the district plans on creating a student advisory council to better hear students’ voices on what they want to see happen.
His first official day is July 1st.