Thursday, May 25, 2006
Walton gets interim removed from title
By SUE WATSON
The board of the Holly Springs School District voted last week to name Irene Walton superintendent of education. Walton has been serving as interim superintendent since late February this year.
School board president Michael Crittle said the board suspended the regular search procedure to put Walton in the top spot because of her demonstrated ability - including high organizational skills, ability to provide information in a useful format and excellent computer skills. Walton knows the school district and is a fruit of the school district, Crittle said.
Walton received her primary education and graduated from Holly Springs High School, then graduated with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Rust College. She holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction and instructional leadership from Ole Miss and a specialist of education degree in educational leadership from Ole Miss.
From 1990 until 2004 Walton served as elementary teacher at Holly Springs Intermediate School and was assistant principal at the same school during 1998 through 2004. She was named principal of the school in 2004, then accepted the interim superintendent’s spot this year.
Walton is liked and works well with the central office staff, said Jones Mays, because of her manner and management style.
“She’s just calming and well prepared - a child of the district,” said Mays. “I’ve seen no other person as well qualified.
“She took the Intermediate School Technical Program through the roof. I haven’t been this excited since my first year in the district.
“She has an air, an aura, about her of calmness. I feel directed in her presence and supported. I’m getting that feeling at the central office that everything is focused.”
Walton said Monday she is very pleased to accept the position of superintendent of education for the next school year.
Number one priority will be student academic achievement and preparation of students for success, she said.
“We are asking all our stockholders - parents, community and teachers - to come together and work together for our students,” Walton said.
The strategy in the coming year will be making decisions based on data, using proven methods, and continuous monitoring of student achievement, Walton said.
Teachers are already preparing to be ready for the evaluation of individual students and classes and three districtwide tests prior to the state testing in May 2007, she said.
Extra effort to prepare a good foundation for students K-3 is planned so that early intervention corrects learning problems before a pattern of failure sets in. Those who are found in need of catching up will be helped with an already tried and true research-based program.
“We’re calling it ‘A Successful Start’ program,” Walton said.
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