Lee County administrators work on a plan

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County School administrators worked on Monday to determine goals to guide the district’s future.
Principals, assistant principals, department heads and central office leaders met to refine the district’s strategic plan during the administrative retreat held at the central office. Their work continues today.
State superintendent Tom Burnham, who retires on June 30, is facilitating the effort.
“This district is ahead of a lot of districts in the state in that they’ve engaged in strategic planning for a number of years,” Burnham said. “We’ve taken those plans and gone through them and talked about changes.”
The district developed its current strategic plan four years ago. New superintendent Jimmy Weeks, who took office in January, determined it was time to update it. On Monday, the group discussed crafting a new vision statement and combining the four goals under the previous plan into one goal while adding three or four new ones.
The administrators also discussed objectives that can be used to measure how well the district is reaching each goal.
“Over time things change and you need to update your strategic plan,” Weeks said.
Burnham, who has helped educators with training for much of his career, now focuses his professional development efforts on helping with leadership and planning. He said he’s recently worked with Hattiesburg and Harrison County schools, noting that his current job limited his time to work with others.
“Strategic planning used to be a three- to five-year process, but now it is an annual one,” Burnham said.
Guntown Principal Steven Havens said the discussion was collaborative, with the administrators sharing their ideas with each other.
“This helps us make sure we are up to date and we stay on the cutting edge in the school business,” he said.
Shannon Middle Assistant Principal Rodney Spears said the retreat allows leaders to refocus.
“It gives us an opportunity to get on the same playing field and build cohesiveness as a unit,” he said.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com