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      Dr. Craig Pouncey looks to the future of JeffCo schools

      With a new superintendent at the helm, the Jefferson County school district is in launch mode for the future. Dr. Craig Pouncey is determined to make the district the best in the state. To do so, he plans to engage local communities as well as the system's personnel on a much stronger level than they've seen. Pouncey understands communication can go a long way in solving problems. One of those problems Pouncey wants to nip in the bud is more municipalities in the county considering breaking away and forming their own school systems. For example, just the other day Dr. Pouncey asked the city of Clay to be patient and hold on. He believes the quality of this large school district is good, but it can be even better with the right people in the right position.{} "We've got to come together as a family, and develop a new vision for this district," says Pouncey.For Pouncey,that vision will serve as a roadmap for Jefferson County schools. One that can be used for the next five to ten years. Pouncey, with permission from the board, has just hired a consulting firm to gather information from all the stakeholders.{}"I really recognized through some information that{}I received on the district, that our principals really need that support, that link to the central office. It's important that with such a large district such as this, that's so spread out throughout a large county that we provide them with the proper support."Simply put. The old way is history."I think we have to look at where Jefferson County is today, relative to where it was thirty years ago."{} Friday, Pouncey stopped by Hueytown High School. He met with faculty and staff as they prepare for the start of the school year, next week. "They need to see the superintendent to know that he is approachable. That, (the) superintendent is willing to listen. And that, (the) superintendent is there to support what they're trying to accomplish." To get the job done, Pouncey believes it will take the work of the county commission and local mayors coming together together for the common good."None of us have what we need. But perhaps, through partnerships and leveraging, we can provide kids with what they need." Ultimately, Pouncey wants Jefferson County schools to be the best in the state.{} "We got a lot of work to do in Jefferson County. But our first priority is to make sure on day one that when children walk into the classroom their teacher was in place and the school was ready to go."The superintendent is also on a mission to hire a deputy superintendent, sooner rather than later. Applications will be accepted through August 5. A number have already come in.

      Dr. Pouncey and the board will begin to look at those next week.{}This new hire will be the fourth deputy superintendent in the district.

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