Sheffield - Donald McPherson made it clear Monday that he is an optimistic person who wants to involve everyone in plotting the course for the future of the Sheffield School System if he becomes the city's new superintendent of education.
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is interviewed for the Sheffield school superintendent.
McPherson, 43, the federal programs director for the Cullman County School System, was the first of four candidates to be interviewed by the Board of Education this week to fill the position being vacated by Dr. Richard Gardner.
McPherson has worked in education for 13 years as a teacher and assistant principal.
He also teaches in an adjunct capacity at Athens State University and University of Alabama-Birmingham.
describes himself as a high-energy person who believes his
gift of unifying people will benefit him in moving the school system forward.
told board members that he
has always had leadership qualities and is frequently thrust into leadership roles.
"I feel like I have something to offer," he
"Every decision I make is about the children."
believes it's important to communicate with the board and employees of the school system, parents, students and other members of the community through e-mail and telephone, nothing takes the place of face-to-face communication.
"We need participation and citizen involvement at every level of education," McPherson
If he becomes the new superintendent, McPherson wants to know everyone in the system, what they do and what their concerns are.
said it's important for the superintendent of education to be visible in the schools, at athletic and academic functions and in the community itself.
said extracurricular activities are an integral part of education and important in keeping students engaged.
They also can motivate children to want to come to school.
In the area of student discipline, McPherson
would be "firm but fair."
"I'd be firm on following board policy," he
"I don't care if you're an athlete or not."
also said he
would like to discover and understand the reason behind the offense.
would evaluate school safety procedures to see why they are in place and if they have been effective in the past.