Wooten wants advisor panel for schools

By Scott Bigelow - Staff writer
Wooten -

LUMBERTON — Letters went out this week from the Public Schools of Robeson County inviting targeted community members to join the new Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.

Superintendent Shanita Wooten wants a diverse committee from across the county to seek out Robeson’s educational issues and help find solutions. The committee may have as many as 40 to 45 members, and Wooten wants to hold the first meeting during the fourth week of April.

“I want to put together the most diverse group possible,” Wooten said. “An advisory committee can play a vital role in the success of a school district’s education programs.”

Community leaders would be drawn from diverse groups, including law enforcement, healthcare, politics, business, religion, as well as retired educators, school administrators and school board members, she said. Wooten wants the committee to reflect the county’s diverse population and communities.

“Everything will be on the table for discussion, all major initiatives,” Wooten said. “I would like to see the community take ownership in education solutions.”

Several critical initiatives will be on the table early on for the committee. A location for a central office and a new school must be found for the Public Schools of Robeson County because of destruction from Hurricane Matthew.

The committee will also look far down the road.

“The committee will assist in the preparation of the district’s 2018-21 strategic plan as well as other long-range planning,” she said.

Meetings will take place on the fourth Mondays of each month, with them rotating among the different school districts.

“The purpose of the committee is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share concerns on educational issues and to contribute to the decision-making process involving the business of our school district,” Wooten said.

The superintendent has asked recipients of invitations to respond after the week of spring break, which begins on today.

Wooten has served as the system’s interim superintendent since the school board bought out Tommy Lowry’s contract in January 2017 and then was unable to name a permanent replacement. The board voted 8 to 3 on March 13 to give Wooten a three-year contract instead of launching another search.

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By Scott Bigelow

Staff writer