May 21, 2014 10:35:14 AM
Columbus Municipal School District Interim Superintendent Edna McGill announced Wednesday that she will apply to be the district's next superintendent.
"Many factors have been considered in my decision," she said. "I believe we -- district management, leadership team and I -- have had a positive impact on this district over the course of this year."
When she was appointed interim in June 2013, McGill, who came out of retirement, said she was not interested in serving as permanent superintendent. However, this morning she said the same reasons she applied for the interim role are the reasons she would like to serve as the permanent superintendent.
"I have been urged by so many community members, educators, parents and friends to apply," she said. "And I believe our team can continue to make a positive impact for our students and community."
McGill said the district has stabilized since she took the interim position. She also noted the district's financial stability.
"We are accredited with no deficiencies for this school year by the Mississippi Department of Education," she said of the district. "We have a budget that is in excellent shape with a fund balance of over $6 million. Debt for this year has been paid and a plan is in place to reduce debt over the next 10 years."
In addition to securing the district's finances, McGill said she is concentrating on offering additional training to teachers that will help with the upcoming changes of the Common Core curriculum.
"Plans are in place for summer teacher training and for the instructional focus next year," she said. "We now have advocates for curriculum and instruction in place that will support the rigorous demands of the curriculum over the next few years."
McGill said her main goal is to make CMSD a successful, thriving district.
"Initiatives have begun which will place this district on the forefront of education in Mississippi, but more than that meet the requirements of MDE, and provide our students with the educational opportunities they and our community deserve," she said. "We are working on training and full implementation of Common Core state standards, significant technology upgrades, implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Early College High School, and increasing the graduation rate."
McGill said she is willing to take the superintendent job for the same rate of pay she is receiving as interim -- $135,600 a year without benefits.
The district has proposed for the position to pay $175,000 with benefits.
"That would be enough savings to fund a teacher salary each year," she said.
If she is chosen as the permanent superintendent, McGill said she would serve in the role for four years.
"If I am not the successful applicant, I will graciously assist in the transition," she said. "My husband and I live in the city and he owns a business in the city. We want Columbus to be a community that continues to prosper and be a place where the children of our community can live and work."
The application window for the superintendent position opened Tuesday. The application deadline is May 30. The board has previously said it hopes to have a new superintendent in place by July 1.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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