Taylor sets eyes on the future of DPS-61 during Business Breakfast address
DECATUR-- Six months into her career as Superintendent of Decatur Public Schools, Lisa Taylor says the district is moving in the right direction, but is still very much a work in progress.
“My focus these past few months has really been on improving the perception of the district,” Taylor said. “I think often times people have preconceived notions of us that simply aren’t true and I want to turn the focus from the few bad things that happen here and to shift focus to all the good things that happen.”
Taylor, a 12 year veteran of the Decatur Public School District, was named Superintendent in March, replacing former Superintendent Gloria Davis. She was the keynote speaker during Wednesday morning’s Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast.
“The message I hope to send to our community leaders and business leaders is that Decatur Public Schools is an option to their employees and to their families,” Taylor said. “We need their help in communicating about the district and really highlighting the good things that happen within DPS-61. If our businesses bring in new employees and bring in new families it is important for us that they show them DPS-61, that’s one of the ways we can fix our perception problem from the inside out.”
As examples of some of the good to happen to the district in recent years, Taylor said you need to look no further than the high school renovations, “With students returning to Eisenhower this year for the first year with the new building, you can definitely see a pep in their step.” MacArthur High School, also undergoing a renovation project, is slated to be substantially completed by November.
Taylor said the catalyst for change within the district falls on the students and the teachers. Taylor was a member of the Dennis Lab School Task Force, so she is not a newcomer when it comes to looking outside the box, “Things change in this world, sometimes quicker than we can keep up with but it is important that we recognize how students are learning today are not the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago. Students today don’t have the attention span to sit at a desk and have a teacher talk to them for 45 straight minutes. We have great teachers who can adapt their teaching styles which is why I think schools like our Montessori Program or Dennis have been so successful these past few years.”
“There is no magic pill to take that will fix a school or a school district, large scale change only comes with hard work,” Taylor added. “But I honestly believe that we are headed in the right direction and I believe our ultimate goal of what we want to be is not far off.”