New hire to provide leadership development, human resources expertise

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Chilton County School System is leaning on a new hire’s expertise to help develop leadership in the system and ensure compliance with state law regarding handling of system employees.

Walt Fenn was approved for a part-time role with the school system by the Chilton County Board of Education in a special called meeting Jan. 5.

Fenn comes to Chilton County Schools with experience as an assistant professor with the University of Montevallo’s instructional leadership program. His public school experience includes years served as a math and science teacher, assistant principal, elementary principal, secondary principal and school district superintendent in Texas before moving to Alabama in 2011.

Willie Mae White, former assistant superintendent in Chilton County, retired, but instead of filling the full-time position, new Superintendent Tommy Glasscock recommended bringing on Fenn part-time.

Fenn will serve as a consultant in the areas of leadership development and human resources and provide at least 80 hours of work each month. He will remain with the school system at least through the end of the school year, Glasscock said.

White continues to work eight hours a week to help with the transition, Glasscock said.

Glasscock said Fenn is helping revise employee and student handbooks to ensure compliance with the Students First Act.

“We’re looking at our total policies and procedures,” Glasscock said. “We want our employees to know what their rights are.”

But perhaps even more valuable will be Fenn’s help with professional development instruction for principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders and central office staff.

“We have great administrators in our county,” Glasscock said. “We want to make sure that our schools are working together.”

An example of this approach is setting county-wide standards so that when students transfer from one county school to another, they can pick up where they left off.

“Chilton County Schools is a really good school district that, under the leadership of Mr. Glasscock, has the potential of becoming a great school district,” Fenn said. “I am excited to be serving in the Chilton County Schools and assisting Superintendent Tommy Glasscock realize his vision of working together to move ‘Education Forward.'”

Another item on Glasscock’s early agenda as superintendent is determining a school that will serve as a pilot for an ‘Education Forward’ school, he said.

A facilities’ assessment will be conducted in the coming weeks, and one county school will be picked, based in part on an administration and staff that is “pulling in the same direction,” Glasscock said.

Then, county resources will be focused on this pilot school.

“It’s going to happen pretty quickly,” Glasscock said. “Everything we do will be about an Education Forward model. Once we have the model, we’ll take that out to the community.”