JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Already tasked with improving a failing school, the Jasper County school board now has to find a new superintendent very quickly.
The current superintendent is leaving at the end of June. The board only has a couple meetings before the school year wraps up.
The county has spent several years on or near the state's failing schools list. The superintendent said the district has improved in his short time here though. Whether it's literacy, graduation rates, or better classrooms, Donald Andrews said Jasper County schools are better than they were two years ago. The district has put a big emphasis on the literacy aspect.
"We know that if a child is not at literacy level by third grade when it comes to being able to read and write, the possibility of them graduating diminishes greatly," Andrews said.
Andrews admitted there's a lot of work left to do—adding that in public education, the work is never done.
"The work will never be finished until 100 percent of children come out of our schools prepared for the workforce or college or military," Andrews said.
Andrews pointed to advancements in technology and a focus on a career and technical education center as two things the district can be proud of. Perhaps the biggest point of emphasis for him has been on improving the classroom.
"Every decision we make has to directly or indirectly have a positive impact on the classroom because we know that with the teachers that's where the rubber meets the road," Andrews said.
Andrews said the district is better than it was when he got here. He tells me his successor must be committed to doing the same thing.
"If we all have that attitude that as we go into a place and we leave it better than we found it, then public education is going to be OK," Andrews said.
The board hopes to find that successor sooner rather than later. The superintendent originally planned to leave at the end of 2018. The board changed that to June 30.