Muscogee County schools has named a current Florida school administrator their finalist in a search for a new superintendent.
The Muscogee County Board of Education unanimously voted David Lewis, the current Associate Superintendent for Polk County schools in Florida, its finalist at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. The Board plans to formally hire Lewis on July 23, the day the required two week public comment period ends.
We're learning more about Lewis as an educator and lover of the arts. He brings a long history of education administration to the table. As Associate Superintendent for the much larger Polk County, Lewis has had many notable accomplishments, and his colleagues say he has a vested interest in his students.
Lewis says, "I wanted to look for the right position to apply for when I was pursuing a superintendent's position, and in doing the research this seemed like one I was very interested in."
He also applied for the Superintendent position in Polk County. Longtime coworker Associate Superintendent Ann Tankson says she doesn't know why he wasn't selected for that job, but he will be missed. "As a district, we are losing a piece of what I would call historical leadership from our district," she says, "because he's been here a long time."
In addition to increasing the graduation rate in Polk County for the past seven consecutive years, Lewis has increased minority enrollment in AP classes by 176%, something he hopes to bring to Muscogee County.
"We are very comfortable with moving the district forward particularly minority students, under-represented students in Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, graduation rates," says Lewis, and Tankson says he's very involved in student activities, attending a variety of events especially in the arts.
Tankson adds, "That kind of commitment and involvement I think David will still do because that's what he's been accustomed to doing and I can't see him changing that because he realizes the importance of those kinds of things and how they impact student achievement."
Lewis says he won't be able to administer the school district alone, however. He's ready to make the tough choices that lay ahead for Muscogee County with help from the people in the trenches. He says, "I want to garner the input and feedback from the community because it's important. This is their district as well, but when it comes down to it I have no problems making the decisions that are mine to make."
On June 21, the board traveled to Atlanta to interview candidates. They were presented with a list of more than 30 candidates.
Lewis' current district is roughly three times as large as Muscogee County and has more than 95,000 students. He had previously been a middle and high school principal for 10 years. He has a Bachelor of Science and Master in Music Education and has served as Director of Bands.
With his wife Karen, who is a 32-year music educator, Lewis has three children. His youngest daughter will be attending Jacksonville State University in Alabama next year on a softball scholarship.
Lewis is also an avid baseball fan. Right now his team is the Tampa Bay Rays, but he knows he'll have to become a Braves fan soon.
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