Little back at Natchez-Adams Schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; It was a new day in a familiar place Monday for Larry Little on his second day at his new job &045; Natchez-Adams Schools assistant superintendent.

Little started his new job Friday, taking over the position after the resignation of

Mary Kate Garvin.

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And Monday, Little already had plenty on his plate from being fingerprinted (a procedural security measure) to working on accreditation for five of the schools and working on more dual enrollment programs between the high school and Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

&uot;He came in and he just knew exactly what to do,&uot; Dr. Anthony Morris, Natchez-Adams Schools superintendent, said.

Little’s biggest challenge was not learning the new principals’ names, although he does have to learn all but two new ones. With a big smile on his face, Little said the biggest challenge of his two days was getting up early. From the &uot;retired&uot; life

of a 7 a.m. wake up call to a 5 a.m., everyday job wake up time.

But Little is no stranger to the job of assistant superintendent or the Natchez-Adams School District.

Although his walls and bookshelves are empty and bare, his personnel files in the Natchez-Adams School District are not.

From 1986 to 1990 he served as the assistant superintendent of personnel in the district, and from 1993-2000 he was assistant superintendent in the district before retiring in 2000.

He also has been a teacher, guidance counselor and director of curriculum in the old Warren County school system, assistant superintendent in Vicksburg schools and the director of instruction at the state department of education.

His experience in curriculum and instruction is one of the main reasons Morris said he asked Little to return to the district.

&uot;He’s one of the strongest persons I could have gotten to help us in those areas,&uot; Morris said. &uot;He is well-respected throughout the state as being a strong curriculum person.&uot;

Those are areas Morris said are particularly important with the new accountability standards set by the state and federal governments through No Child Left Behind.

Not only that, but Morris also worked with Little when Morris was employed in the district a couple of years ago, and the two have what Morris described as a &uot;good working relationship.&uot;

So how did Little get the job? Well, Morris called him and asked him if he wanted the vacant position.

Little said his job is to be a &uot;filter&uot; through which all of the directors at the central office go through before reaching the superintendent, so Little will have input in many areas.

Also, he said it is important to view any central office job as one that &uot;assists the schools as much as possible.&uot;

Throughout much of his career and even while &uot;retired,&uot; Little has been heavily involved in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional accreditation commission.

The commission is made up of many people, even many that are still working in school districts in the south. In fact, Little said it is required that there be one classroom teacher in each group.

He has worked as a facilitator, working with schools to implement their school improvement plan and on evaluation teams. Also, he has served as chair of the school improvement plans and now serves as chair of the peer review team.

He said anytime someone goes into another district to see how it runs, the important thing to think of is, &uot;How do they do it better?&uot;

Little can use this experience, as many other educators and administrators can, to help better the school district.

Only on day two as assistant superintendent, Little already has his outlook for the year defined &045; for the district to improve and build upon what is already there.