Superintendents Week: Lakeland Schools Superintendent Dr. Ted Ho - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Superintendents Week: Lakeland Schools Superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell

Dr. Ted Horrell, Lakeland Superintendent (Source: WMC Action News 5) Dr. Ted Horrell, Lakeland Superintendent (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Kendall Kirkham: It's WMC Action News 5's Superintendent Week here. And joining me here is Dr. Ted Horrell, superintendent of Lakeland Schools. Thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Horrell: Thank you for having me. Great to be here.

Kendall: Doesn't it seem like {the school year} gets here earlier and earlier every year, are you excited?

Dr. Horrell: It does and the teachers will tell you that and agree in spades for sure that it comes back too quickly.

Kendall: This is the second year for Lakeland Schools. What can students and parents expect this school year as compared to last year?

Dr. Horrell: Well we think we did a great job setting the culture for last year and making the school and school system more accessible for students and for parents. And we've improved parent participation and we've got a great vibe. What we're focusing on this year almost entirely has to do with instruction and making sure that the teachers have what they need. We've made some tweaks to our schedule that we feel like will make it enhance the opportunities for students.  And just improve student achievement that is our goal.

Kendall: I'm sure it's exciting coming into a new district like this and it does come with its sets of challenges as we were talking about earlier.

Dr Horrell: Yeah, there are challenges to being small. But there's a lot of advantages. What we really like is that when we talk about our students, we're typically talking about specific students. When we're talking about our teachers, we're talking about specific teachers so that smaller system gives us the opportunity to really work on a micro level and address particular students' needs and not just try to address students in general.

Kendall: What else can parents and students expect for that very first day coming up this year?

Dr. Horrell: The first we always hope is pretty close to the last first day. We want to make sure that students feel comfortable, especially new students. We want to make sure that parents don't feel anxious dropping their kids off, so they know what's going to happen. Again, if we do it right then parents won't really notice a lot. Once the teachers take over that's when the magic starts happening, as they say. So we're going to get them in and start getting them educated.

Kendall: The tax increase was just recently approved for the new school. Do you have any, can you give us any insight on the plans for when that may open? Then also, are there any more plans to expand even more in the district of Lakeland?

Dr. Horrell: Sure our project target date for Lakeland Middle School is fall of 2018. And so we're finalizing the land purchase, and the city's finalizing the financing. But we're really excited for that opportunity to grow our school system and to move our kids through the Lakeland system. As far as the future goes, we'll just have to kind of look at things as they progress and make decisions as we need to.

Kendall: Just get through day one and go from there, right?

Dr. Horrell: That's it, sure!

Kendall: Thank you so much. Anything else, In your hopes, your goals for this school year in particular?

Dr. Horrell: Well again, we're just excited about all the support that we've received. We're excited about the enthusiasm for the new system. And our goal is to keep getting better every single year and this year's not going to be an exception.

Kendall: Absolutely. Well, thank you again for being here. And good luck with the first day of school!

Dr. Horrell: Thank you so much!

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly