By NIKKI DOTSON MERRITT, Staff Writer
WAYNE – Administrators across the county are praising an initiative being implemented into schools that uniquely helps give insight as to how to form a successful school atmosphere and give Wayne County students the best education possible.
Edwards Educational Services is being considered an important asset to both running a school effectively and developing a model as to the success schools in the county can achieve.
Mary Lou Perry, director of curriculum and professional development, presented The Wayne County Board of Education with information on the program along with testimony from administrators on each level of education as to how the program is working.
“We felt the initiative they have is what we want our county to look like,” Perry said. “Our goal will be to sustain it.”
Perry said the services are not just another “program” being implemented into schools.
“It is not a program, it is a mindset that prepares the teachers for a new model to follow to make success happen,” Perry said. “We feel this is the best way to get this in our schools and use it across the county.”
Edwards Education Services, Inc. is an educational consulting company developed by Dr. Steven Edwards that offers comprehensive services and products for both students and administrators that are tailored to meet individual district needs and challenges.
The educational leaders at Edwards work off the understanding that simple solutions for complex issues do not yield sustainable improvements and work diligently to assist in transforming educational systems to meet the needs of the population.
Initiative being implemented to give insight on forming a successful school atmosphere
The initiative creates professional relationships built on trust as well as performance to help each classroom, school, or district actualize its unique vision and by result, maximize overall student achievement.
Melissa Maynard, principal at East Lynn Elementary said the program has instilled her with skills that will trickle down to her staff and the students. “Anything that is going to make us better we are open to it,” Maynard said. “Our representative assessed my needs as leader to accomplish the goals I have set, walked through how I can achieve those goals and get me to where I need to be so it can trickle down to my staff. they are here to help us as leaders understand what to do to help our teachers. In the end, we are going to be under the same umbrella that is going to bring us to success.”
The focus is on teacher as a facilitator and students as a self-directed learner. All training sessions modal this approach.The services put an emphasis on training teachers to understand and apply higher order thinking activities that are relevant in today’s society and have application beyond the classroom.
Before using Edwards Services, Wayne High School Principal Sara Stapleton said she had trouble delegating tasks to others.
“I was a manager, I could run Burger King, but could I be a facilitator,” Stapleton said. “Edwards has allowed me to learn to teach others. I do believe the cohesiveness is bringing us all together.”
Buffalo Middle School Principal Elizabeth Ryder said she was very passionate about Edwards.
“I was a hater going in because I thought it was one more program,” Ryder said, “But, this is one of the most privative, applicable and realistic mindsets that we have ever been through.”
Board members agreed this is the kind of thing they like to talk about at meetings.
“This is the stuff I want to talk about,” Board President Trey Morrone said. “It seems like you all are on the right track and that is what we want to hear. We encourage on path you are on.”
Superintendent Sandra Pertee said the effects of the services are great.
“The major thing I see in the Edwards program it is not one of those things where someone comes in and gives training and then they are gone,” Sandra Pertee said. “It is that constant communication they provide and the focus. People who really have meaning for our administrations and staffs to better our students. The really unique thing that it is constant. I hope that it will pull together all instructional leaders to lead the county forward.”