In the Mason County School District, it is not unusual to see Superintendent Rick Ross roaming the halls of each school during the day.

Ross, who has three children in the system, was named superintendent of the Mason County School District in 2013.

On Tuesday, Ross spent his morning in meetings with teachers, administration and some students to get an idea of what is happening in the district.

At 8:30 a.m., he met with Mason County High School Principal Chris O'Hearn, and Instructional Supervisor Holly Kimble, as a part of the principal's evaluation.

"This is a site visit," he said. "It happens about twice a year as a part of the principal's evaluation."

During the meeting, Ross asked O'Hearn several questions pertaining to the high school. They also discussed curriculum with Kimble.

The district is currently working on a shared curriculum plan through Google, in which teachers can share their lesson plans with others in the district.

"As our people retire, they're knowledge doesn't retire with them," Ross said.

Once the meeting was over, Ross visited several classrooms, something he tries to do often in order to give teachers feedback on their performance.

"I have these cards and I'll put on there what I liked and what the next steps could be."

His visit included an art class, science, Spanish, special education and criminal psychology.

Walking into the criminal psychology class, it is difficult to miss the smell of coffee.

"This teacher uses traditional lecturing style," Ross said. "I normally don't like that, because I want the kids to be interactive, but for him, this works and the students love it."

Immediately following classroom visits, Ross joins several teachers and Kimble in the conference room to discuss the Royal Diploma, which helps students be better prepared for life when they leave high school.

"We want leaving MCHS to mean something," Shannon Roberts, an MCHS teacher said during the meeting.

The group discussed several ideas for marketing the diploma from t-shirts to mannequins dressed in caps and gowns.

From the Royal Diploma meeting, Ross headed toward Mason County Middle School, where he distributed superintendent's awards.

"These awards are given to students who have either always done well in school or who have turned themselves around," he said. "I have a soft spot for kids who may not have always made the right decisions, but are working to do that now."

Get tips on free stuff and fun ideas delivered weekly to your inbox

Ross handed out several certificates and t-shirts to students in the commons area of MCMS before going to Mason County Intermediate School to meet with Principal Robbie Kimble and students on the "Lighthouse team."

The Lighthouse team is comprised of several MCIS students. They meet and discuss concerns and successes at the school.

During the meeting, Ross asked the students several questions, including how well they like their teacher, some of the positives and negatives about MCIS and what can be done to make the atmosphere better.

"It gives me a good idea of what is going on in the school," he said. "The students on this team can tell us, from a student's perspective, if something isn't work or if it's working well. Whenever we meet, I try to bring pizza for them, too."

From there, Ross headed toward Straub Elementary School, where he was invited to see what one of the classes has been doing to learn to math.

"I've been invited to sit in for a few minutes," he said. "This will happen occasionally and it gives me an idea of how well the student's are doing."

Before leaving Straub, Ross takes a moment to help a young student with an untied shoe.

"You're shoe is untied, buddy," he said to the child. "Do you need help? Come here, I'll tie it for you."

Ross finished with his visit to Straub around 1 p.m. At the time, he returned to his office to answer emails, phone calls and messages.

"This is pretty much a typical day for me," he said. "It's difficult to find me in my office. I'm usually in all of the schools at least three times a week to check in on classrooms and touch base. It's important to have a presence in the district."


Load comments