This week on WKNO-TV's Behind the Headlines, host Eric Barnes continues his conversations with Shelby County's municipal school superintendents: Bo Griffin, Tammy Mason and Dr. Ted Horrell.
Tammy Mason, superintendent for Arlington Community Schools, discusses where funding for Arlington’s Schools comes from, and the state of the school district's finances.
Superintendent of Lakeland Schools, Dr. Ted Horrell, says that the benefits of being part of a small school system is that he has become closer to parents and students, which has provided insight into what his school district needs.
Bo Griffin, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, says that small districts allow a more proactive approach to understanding and accomplishing what is needed. Griffin, who spent many years working for Shelby County Schools, knows that while there are advantages to having a large school district, there are also more issues. Griffin says that there are only four schools in his district, which allow him to visit each school at least once a week and be able to personally “know [the] kids” in his school district.
Students' mental health is a concern for all district leaders. Horrell says that his district has invested in a full-time social worker to help with personal and emotional needs. Mason employs social workers also, however, she believes that teachers are the first responders, and there is a need for them to be trained in dealing with mental health issues.
Mason says that school security is part of every conversation when starting a school. To make sure that Arlington students are safe, the district has enacted security measures such as thumbprint locks and security cameras. Horrell mentions that district has authorized a full-time security officer at Lakeland Elementary. When asked if it saddens Horrell that he must take these security measures for an elementary school, Horrell says that districts must do what it takes to protect the students.