School administrators study greatness

Published 11:53 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NATCHEZ — The men and woman that help mold the minds of Natchez-Adams County public school students completed their fourth annual administrators’ retreat Wednesday.

“The retreat is a chance for the administrative staff to get refreshed and ready for the new school year,” Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Anthony Morris said.

The retreat was a three-day event and took place at the Isle of Capri hotel. The Visionary Leadership Institute from Ohio was present to offer guidance to the administrators about new programs for educational development.

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“This was the second year that we had the Visionary Leadership Institute at the retreat,” Morris said. “We had seen them at a conference two years ago and we’re very impressed.”

All of the principals of local public schools were present at the event as well as all of the staff from Natchez-Adams Central Office.

“All of the people here were divided into six groups to look at the gaps in 12 different areas,” said Milton Matthews the federal education program coordinator for Natchez-Adams School District. “Analyzing the gaps will allow us to understand the past and what to expect from the future of education here.”

The 12 areas the administrators assessed for gaps were: beliefs and attitudes, communication and language, processes and learning style, work habits and practice, values and norms and systems and technology.

Edward Reed assistant principal at Natchez High was in the communication and language group.

“We are working on a better way for schools to communicate, especially since we are no longer in the paper age,” Reed said. “Better communication means better relationships between students, teachers and everyone in the entire education district.”

The retreat groups’ decisions were based on, Good to Great, a book by Jim Collins.

“The book was required reading for the entire group,” Morris said.

The book was originally geared toward teaching business leadership techniques.

Morris said the book’s message helped everyone to realize where they have been and where they can go with regard to the quality of education in the district.

“I think the staff members felt rejuvenated and will go back to their buildings and recharge their staff members to achieve the best impact on the students,” Morris said.