Dr. Douglas L. Ragland
In recruiting a first class staff successfully several measures need to be developed and implemented. First and foremost we must be acute in screening the application process of all applicants for evaluation of need, fit in our organization, as well as fallacies or issues that appear problematic and will not lead to success of the individual (s) in our organization. This process takes place in not only the viewing of applications, but also in face to face conversations by interviewing either informally or formally via recruitment fairs or individual and panel interviewing processes. This is the initial key to the recruitment process, but the administrator or leaders of the organization as a whole must be knowlegdable and in agreement as to what the mission, needs, and objectives of the organization are in regards to the organization’s goals, professional development, student success, and community needs. This is in essence an Academic Improvement Plan and it must be implemented in the planning process of gathering, attaining, and enhancing key data, teachers, and administrators in carrying out this process of success and manifesting excellence in the organization, faculty, administrators, students, parents, stakeholders, and the community at large. In amplifying and reinforcing this point, the incorporation and utilization of the Bohman and Deals Four Framework regarding Structural, Human Resource, Political, and Symbolic Aspects would be a tremendous asset in attaining and enhancing successful leadership and excellence in the educational organization and community. These elements give leaders different perspectives on which method or methods are the best match or fit for the organization in getting the best desired results from the teachers, students, parents, and community in creating an environment of support and educational excellence. This framework deals with the foundation, readiness, dynamics, and important or nostalgic elements of the organization from the standpoints of teacher expectations, enhancement of personnel via professional development, successful stakeholder involvement, and understanding of symbolism in creating and maintaining harmony in enhancing the community as a whole. By incorporating this model you are focusing on professional development of faculty and staff which will ultimately lead to student, organization, and community success. Midfield City Schools is the organization where I served as Superintendent of Education and retired from in 2010. During the time I served, the district was 99%African American and had a small portion of Special Needs Students. The district is an urban district and the city has a population of just over 5,000. The district is also a designated Title I School System and serves poor to middle class students. The median income of the District is approximately 39,000. The district served approximately 1,300 students and is its own municipality governed by the mayor and city council. The Midfield Community has several progressive businesses and is known by the title “A City on the Move”. The school district was very sound financially by having a budget exceeding the state recommendation of 1 month’s reserves and was supported by the community and the city government. The district was always open and transparent in the community with Town Hall Educational Summits giving the parents and community full disclosure of the district’s goals, objectives, accomplishments, including academic and financial standing, and the like. The district along with the community took tremendous pride in the success of the district academically and athletically, including 3 consecutive Girls State Basketball Championships during my tenure and several star athletes serving as Valedictorian and Salutatorian at the Graduation Ceremonies. All of the schools in the district are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, all Career Technical Programs are Business Industry Certified, all teachers were 100% professionally certified and highly qualified, the district has always mastered the highest level of academic achievement given by the state which at the time was AYP and over 2 million in scholarship monies were awarded to students just to name a few of the accomplishments. The district was supported by the Midfield Chamber of Commerce as well as all churches and businesses in the community. Not only was Midfield City Schools a thriving School System, but it was a thriving community and the best kept secret in the state. In closing we invite you to consider our system for employment opportunities and understand that we are a district with high expectations seeking to prepare our students for global success, thus leaving no child, no parent and no community behind!