New superintendent no longer ‘new kid on block’
Steven Dozier, Superintendent of Webster Parish schools, is no longer considered the "new kid on the block."
"Have you gotten your first check?" Webster Parish School Board member Frankie Mitchell asked Dozier, following a reception held in his honor last week.
Dozier, sitting in the first row of the audience at Mt. Calm Baptist Church in Minden, replied above the chuckles, that he had received his first pay check.
"Well then he is no longer new," Mitchell said to a laughing audience. "You're here and you belong. Mr. Dozier has been working so diligently and we are so thankful to have him lead the schools of Webster Parish."
The reception was hosted by board members Linda Kinsey, Johnnye Kennon and Mitchell.
Mt. Calm Baptist Church opened their doors to receive Dozier and members of the community, while Culinary Department of Mt Calm provided a meal of peach cobbler, vegetable trays, meat balls and buffalo wings at no charge to those who attended the event.
After Dozier was introduced by Kennon, Dozier spoke to the audience about the two main goals he has as superintendent and how he plans to achieve those goals.
"The main objectives I am focusing on are getting our finances and our test scores on track," Dozier said. "We can not spend more than we get in, and I plan on making sure that we live within our means. In order to get the test scores where they need to be, we have got to train our principals and our teachers how to teach, and we have to teach the kids what they don't know."
Dozier said "teaching to the test" is not a bad thing.
"What are the tests made of?," he asked. "The test questions come from GLE, or Grade Level Expectations, standards that are set for each grade. Those are made by the top educators and professionals of education around the state and the country.
"I think if the top educators from around the country are saying 'Hey, your kids need to know this material or be able to understand these objectives' then we need to listen and make sure our kids are learning that material," he said.
Dozier said often times if a student is taught from a book, rather than from the GLE, some objectives can be missed.
"So you have to rethink your teaching and then test the kids," Dozier said. "You have to look at data ... at your test scores and the breakdown of the test – and see which areas or GLEs the students are not getting and then focus on that when you teach them."
After speaking about his goals, Dozier opened the floor for questions and comments. Retired educators, parents with issues, and concerned citizens were among those who were able to voice their thoughts.
"I really appreciate everyone being here," Dozier said. "We have got to have a sense of community and good communication if we are going to make this work. Call your principals and know your students' teachers ... call me, because we are in this together and have to be if we are going to succeed."