Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Candidates for OPS Superintendent Meet the Community at Public Forum

oboro public school1 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/1/13) – Three candidates for the position of Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent were given the chance to meet the community and answer a series of questions Tuesday night in one of the final steps of the selection process.

The three candidates – Nick Brake, Mark Owens, and Rob Clayton – addressed a sizeable crowd at the OPS district office. Only one candidate was allowed in the room at a time so that they couldn’t hear each other’s answers. All three candidates were asked the same series of questions, many of which the moderator of the event said were provided by members of the community ahead of time.

Brake, who spoke first, told the audience his experience and professional relationships he has built at every level would be vital to developing a curriculum for careers in skilled labor, when asked how he would address the growing need to fill positions as more people retire from the workforce.

“I’m your man here,” he said. “I have a lot of experience… and have developed key relationships at the local, state, and national levels.”

He said that development of a skilled labor curriculum would need to be developed in conjunction with the various industries and universities to offer something that prepares students.

“It’s not about lowering standards,” he said, adding that such a curriculum would need to be a “rigorous academics” program covering multiple industries, such as manufacturing, energy, and banking.

In his answers, Brake stressed the importance for a superintendent to be “teacher oriented,” a quality he said he can bring to the table if hired. He noted that he is currently teaching a course at Western Kentucky University and intends to continue teaching for as long as he is able. He also pointed to his past experiences in teaching as examples of how he would be an effective superintendent. He said programs he helped developed while working for the Daviess County School District are still in place.

Owens was next to address the audience. When asked how he would develop the district’s curriculum in its schools, he said his focus would be on encouraging communication between them.

“You would assume it’s a given that all schools are talking to one another, but they’re not,” Owens said. “We have to establish a culture… where we get everyone working in the same direction. That’s a tough thing to do.

Owens added that if hired, he would have a policy of “no tolerance for negativity.” When asked what he would do in his first 90 days, he said he would spend most of that time meeting with various teacher, parent, and community groups before making any major changes in the way the district does things.

“I’ll listen, but I’ll act boldly in the first 90 days,” he said.

 Clayton, the only candidate not living in Daviess County, said his priority would be to “establish positive relationships” with students to help them succeed. He said he has three priorities he would operate under if hired as the superintendent: safety including social and emotional as well as physical; the need for all students to learn; and providing college and career-ready opportunities.

He also said developing strong lines of communication among the various local groups will be a focus for him.

“I’ll want to know from our community what we need,” he said.

All three candidates were asked their thoughts on how best to utilize a piece of property purchased bout a year ago from Texas Gas, and all three joked about the question before answering.

“This is the question I was advised to punt on,” Clayton said jokingly before telling the audience that such a decision would need to be made carefully after ample time was spent to “gather facts” about the property.

Brake said while the property could provide a great opportunity, the financial challenges facing the district would have to be considered in any decision.

“The facilities are second in my mind to student achievement,” Brake said. “We’re challenged here the way the district is funded.”

Owens said he would reconvene the district’s Local Planning Commission to assess the property, and determine the best way to serve students.

“We need to figure out how to best serve our kids – where do we want our fifth graders to be?” he said.

Although a specific date to decide whom to hire hasn’t been announced, a tentative date for selecting a candidate has been set for May 7, with duties to begin July 1. The new superintendent will succeed Larry Vick, who is retiring.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Business Spotlight - ProRehab Serves Communities in Two States

HENDERSON, Ky. (7/22/14) — With locations that include Madisonville, Henderson, Bowling Green and even Haiti, the… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 22, 2014 2486

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 2139

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1499

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 19, 2014 1458

Cash Mob Descends on Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1336

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - July…

in News by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 22, 2014 2486

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 1041

Madisonville Fire Chief Announces…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 19, 2014 1035

Local Hip-Hop Artist, Marack, Talks About…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 1004

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 19, 2014 818

Riddle Insurance Inaugural Flight

in Top Stories by Ron Sanders

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 21, 2014 1001

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 22, 2014 656

Alliance for a Drug Free Owensboro and…

in News by Carla Shelton
July 22, 2014 470

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 21, 2014 439

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis
July 21, 2014 231

ODC 14-Year-Olds Win West State, Move on…

in Top Stories by Steve LeMaster

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 21, 2014 2139

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 21, 2014 1499

Business Spotlight - Painted Window Aims…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 19, 2014 1458

Cash Mob Descends on Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03