Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TOP STORY >> Thurman will keep district’s top post

Leader staff writer

Cabot School District Superintendent Tony Thur-man is staying on to continue leading one of the largest districts in the state.

Thurman was contacted by the Fayetteville School District and interviewed by the Fayetteville School Board on March 31 for the superintendent position. He notified Fayetteville on April 7 that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the job.

Thurman said Fayetteville has a strong school system and will be a great position for the applicant who will be chosen as its next superintendent.

He will begin his eighth year as Cabot school superintendent in July and his 14th year in the district. He was principal at Middle School South for three years and Cabot High School principal for four years.

Thurman said he will remain a part of the growing Cabot Schools District for several reasons.

“We have lived in Cabot for 14 years and this is our home. Cabot is a great place to live and raise a family. I’m very proud of our school system but there is still so much work to be done,” Thurman said Tuesday.

“I’m excited about the continued development of our programming for students in grades seventh, eighth and ninth. The opening of the Freshman Academy this fall provides us with many opportunities,” he said.

“We will begin a renovation and addition to the S-building on the high school campus that will provide our agriculture and broadcasting programs with much needed space for growth. We will redesign the student parking area at the high school in the summer of 2015, closing out the transformation of Cabot High School that we started when I was principal at the high school in 2003,” Thurman continued.

“We are in a very good situation with our facilities and space across the district with the opening of the Freshman Academy this fall. Growth patterns must be constantly monitored, and future facilities and classroom additions considered, depending on enrollment,” he said.

Thurman said the district is financially stable and performs well academically. Students are graduating from the Cabot school system. They are successful in college, the workforce and the military. He attributes this to the faculty and staff that comes to work each day focused on doing what is best for the children.

The district will be making a presentation tomorrow to the Arkansas Department of Education requesting approval to expand its charter school to include a classroom building on the high school campus. Thurman said there are students in seventh through 12th grade who need a setting other than a large campus to be successful.

“This model will allow the district to offer a true blended learning environment utilizing the elective resources of Junior North, Freshman Academy and Cabot High School with the core academic online system currently being used at the Academic Center of Excellence,” Thurman said.

“Another aspect of Cabot that is an exciting challenge is how we will continue to integrate technology into every classroom. Technology will never be able to take the place of a highly effective teacher, but its impact on teaching and learning in the future will be great,” he said.