Student Focused, Teacher Focused: Introducing Shevonda Truman
It was Dr. Holloway’s idea to make some changes at the central office. He wanted to create a more inviting boardroom featuring the reasons we meet. Framed prints of our students in front of their schools was the first request he had, and self confessed QLE “teacher nerds” Toni Dikes and Nikki Reeves brought the photos into focus with their expert stenciling.
Teachers throughout the district brought the south wall to life with posters featuring four topics: Non Negotiables for Students, Non Negotiables for Teachers, what happens when we join together, and the most apt description of a Quitman School District teacher we have ever read.
Our teachers are a powerful group of educators combining their skills and talents within not only the grades they teach and the buildings which contain their classrooms, but also among their subject matter and for their students. There’s a collaborative effort already existing under the direction of the Math Curriculum Specialist and District Testing Coordinator Shevonda Truman.
And Truman is a force.
Mrs. Truman’s words flow like a river when she describes the purpose of her new jobs,
“I have always found that I accomplish more by building teams. When you work with a team you get more accomplished. I’m excited about what is about to happen in Quitman. You will definitely see a turnaround in academics. Teachers here have been waiting for an opportunity to collaborate more across the district. A select group has already started working on their lesson plans, and they’ve transformed their lesson plan format. They’ve already identified their pacing guides. Dr. Holloway has opened the door to teacher input and collaboration. They are the ones in the classrooms with the students. When we empower our teachers, our students benefit.”
With fifteen years in education serving roles as a teacher, an assistant principal, and most recently Principal of the 9th Grade Academy which was a “game changer” at Meridian High School. It is where her work with teams of 9th-grade educators and students nearly halved the amount of drop-outs seen at MHS. She is bringing the same trend changing energy to all the schools of Quitman School District. While she prepares to defend her dissertation at Mississippi State University, Mrs. Truman sits in her new office located at 104 East Franklin and is excited about increasing the impact she can have in Clarke County.
“When we empower teachers, that empowerment filters into our students. Building stronger students builds stronger communities. “
It has been said that a difficult thing to do in the defense of a doctorate degree is to reach your audience, but there is little doubt that the powerhouse, who is Truman, will find a problem there. She is definitely finding no problem with audience here.
“There is a sense of family here. Relationships go further than any rating. You’ve heard it before, ‘Children don’t care about what you know, children want to know that you care.’ After meeting a few of the teachers, there is no doubt that the teachers in Quitman care. This community cares. Though I do enjoy having an office, I will be out a lot in the schools and in all the classrooms. The goal is to make our hard work translate into a high performing school district. We have a team of leaders and teachers to make that happen!”