This Texas educator came up with a novel approach to lift academic performance of under-privileged students during Covid

Superintendent of Schools in Clarksville, Texas, Dr. Kermit Ward. Photo: Clarksville ISD

He believed he could make a positive difference and improve the performance of underprivileged students in minority communities. This is how the journey of the Superintendent of Schools in Clarksville, Texas, Dr. Kermit Ward, in transformational leadership as an educator began.

He was worried Black students were not achieving their full potential in an under-resourced school setting that was making it nearly impossible for them to meet their learning needs.

He piloted his educational metrics which focused on improving discipline, boosting the morale of the teaching staff and integrating underprivileged minority students among the best-performing ones as a way of raising the academic bar of disadvantaged children in class.

Many did not appreciate his vision when he began this transformational agenda, he claimed in one of his media interviews.

When he took over Pflugerville ISD’s WestView Middle School in 2011 as its Principal, the expectation of many was for him to maintain the status quo. The school’s academic performance was on a nose dive, the students were considered high risk with a sizeable number from under-privileged backgrounds without any hope of making it to college.

According to him, he saw hope if he could get the school’s minority students and staff to conform to his success metrics.

Before he transitioned to Connally High, he had turned around the fortunes of the school whose success was on the dip. His peers attribute increased discipline at Connally High to his leadership style. Dr. Ward underscored that his biggest challenge has been maintaining the standards during the covid-19 pandemic.

He was faced with adapting to the new normal and imparting discipline using the virtual world.

“Covid 19 challenged our way of imparting knowledge. We had to change the approach of being reactive to adapting to the news ways,” he added.

He said the needs of the students were what occupied his thoughts in all the decisions he had to take during the pandemic.

Dr. Ward observed that the pandemic exacerbated the challenges that under-privileged students faced.

He said it is his resolve to improve the learning conditions of these minority students who are plagued by parents living on low incomes and poor conditions.

He hopes to replicate his vast experience of raising under-performing students in other states given the possibilities the covid pandemic has presented.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 13, 2022


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates