New assistant superintendent shares job goals, seeks school feedback


New assistant superintendent shares job goals, seeks school feedback

JESSICA PACE

Two weeks into the job, Charles Farmer is feeling out his new role as assistant superintendent of schools and preparing to launch a survey for district principals as one of his first items of business.

Two weeks into the job, Charles Farmer is feeling out his new role as assistant superintendent of schools and preparing to launch a survey for district principals as one of his first items of business.

Replacing Donna Wright, who was hired this year to be Wilson County School District’s new superintendent, Farmer comes from Summit High where he was principal since the Spring Hill high school opened in 2011.

“As a youth, I remember Williamson County has always had a stellar reputation,” Farmer said.

A Rutherford County native and graduate of Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Farmer came to Williamson County when offered the opportunity with professional as well as a personal motives – his son was ready to start public school.

Farmer taught and worked at the administrative level previously in Panama City and in Alabama before coming to the Spring Hill community and eventually landing his current position.

“My job is to be a support to the middle and high schools,” he said.

“I want to help them be successful in preparing kids for after graduation, helping hire staff, helping with needed resources, making sure we’re following board policy, troubleshooting and making sure the administrators and teachers can teach the kids.”

Farmer said he struggled with leaving Summit and his work at the school level.

“I love being with the kids and teachers. I was blessed with great relationships at Summit and in Spring Hill. I thought this would give me the opportunity to take the same approach from the school building level to the central office level beyond just the confines of Summit High School,” he said.

“Now it’s a broader reach to support 18 schools instead of just one.”

Farmer has relied on support from Wright, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Denise Goodwin and Teaching, Learning and Assessment Director Tim Gaddis while adjusting to the role, but also applies the same day-to-day practicality he used when working within schools.

“As a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal over 18 years, I know what goes into academics, athletics and parent involvement, and I try to be mindful of that as I try to make decisions related to all the schools,” he said.

The new assistant superintendent named goals including adhering to the district’s strategic plan, seeing high school juniors achieve an ACT score of 24, developing technology use at the high school level, encouraging collaboration among high schools and finding a way for high-achieving students to continue showing growth.

“Those high-achieving learners, we have to find a way to make their day-to-day learning more rigorous, so they can show considerable growth like some of our other groups,” Farmer said.

“This county is also more socioeconomically diverse than some people realize, and we have to consider any of those kids that could fall through the cracks and recognize their learning needs,” he added.

Now that the school year has begun, Farmer will be distributing a survey to all middle school and high school principals and assistant principals to gauge where the school administrators stand on a range of topics.

“One question involves RTI – Response to Intervention– and how we approach that from an administrative standpoint this year, so we’re fully prepared next year. After this year, it will be a state mandate for high schools,” he said of the remedial program.

“Another addresses continuing to strengthen AP numbers. Do we need to implement pre-AP courses at the middle school level? Also, my visibility – how often do they expect me in their building?”

Jessica Pace covers Williamson County, Williamson County Schools and the Town of Nolensville for BrentWord Communications. Contact her at jess@brentwoodhomepage.com or follow her on Twitter @Jess_Marie_Pace.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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