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Educators Have High Expectations For Fort Worth's Superintendent

Ben Noey Jr.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Fort Worth's new superintendent Kent Scribner spent the first day of school meeting with students and teachers. In his last job in Phoenix, Scribner oversaw 16 high schools and more than 27,000 students. The Fort Worth school district is about three times that size.

Scribner will lead the district after a 21-day waiting period. Fort Worth educators spoke about their expectations for Scribner -- and they included addressing everything from teacher retention to opportunity gaps.

[Related: KERA also talked with Scribner to learn about his history in Arizona and what he hopes to do for the Fort Worth district. Read that interview here.]

Jessica Silva, kindergarten teacher at Washington Heights Elementary in Fort Worth

Credit Stephanie Kuo

“I think retaining first-year teachers is really important,” Silva said. “I know that sometimes it can be hard to keep teachers on, so just making sure that first-year teachers get the support that they need from their principals and from the district. Teaching is learning essentially, so making sure that new teachers keep updated on new information, new training, so they want to stay in the district so they can became seasoned teachers.” 

Judy Pérez, director of programs at Fort Worth SPARC

SPARC supports after-school programs and providers.

Credit Stephanie Kuo

“I do hope that with new superintendents coming in, if they understood the value and really relayed it to their administrators, their principals, their teachers how important after-school programming is, that would benefit the students,” Pérez said.  “Education does not stop at 3 p.m. Lots of parents are working, so it's an opportunity for students to continue their educational day, do some homework, and hopefully it makes them more successful.” 

Tobi Jackson, Fort Worth ISD board trustee

Credit Stephanie Kuo

“We want somebody who wants to bring equity to all of our students -- somebody that doesn't look at poverty as a challenge,” Jackson said. “We have to look at these opportunity gaps. People call it an achievement gap here, but it's truly an opportunity gap in equity, and that's what we were most concerned about. The challenge is not our children. The challenge is how we treat our children."

Stephanie K. Jackson, Fort Worth ISD retiree

Credit Stephanie Kuo

“I think it's going to be critical for him to share his plan but also listen -- and listen to kindergartners! Go into a classroom and ask them important questions about how they're doing, and then take that all the way up to our high school kids. Really get to know our community, and I think he's going to really enjoy being at the helm of a wonderful school district.”

Photo credit: Ben Noey, Jr./the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

These voices are part of our American Graduate initiative, which tracks the journey from childhood to graduation.