Berkeley Co. superintendent committee brainstorming to improve district

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - The superintendent of Berkeley County Schools says he is bringing workers across the district together at one table to make the work environment better.

Deon Jackson held the second meeting of his Superintendent’s Advisory Committee last week. The committee is made of of 12 district employees, representing each department or area of employment within the district. That ranges from principals and teachers to custodians, security, health and athletics.

“I think that’s a great thing as well for our employees to have an opportunity to have that dialogue with our leadership, have the dialogue with our superintendent, but I think probably more important is to have the dialogue amongst each other,” Jackson says. “And so, so that everyone can have that perspective, or at least have the opportunity to hear the perspective of their fellow employees.”

Jackson says when it comes to creating a supportive work environment and implementing ideas, it’s essential to have a voice from every different job.

“So we often come up with ideas, great ideas at least seemingly in our minds, but when you go to implement those, sometimes we run into issues,” he says. “And so if you actually get the information from the people that have their boots on the ground, the folks that are located where the majority of the work is taking place, those initiatives seem to be more successful than the ones that come directly from the top.”

Jackson meets with a committee dedicated to each profession regularly to hear from each department as well. But he thinks the collaboration of the newly founded Superintendent’s Advisory Committee is going to be helpful.  Jackson says a cohesive district with strong leaders across all areas will benefit the students. He gave examples for both custodians and teachers just to name a few.

“Our custodians are on the front lines and they are responsible for keeping a clean and sterile environment for our students, and for our students and faculty. We know what that does for their academic achievement. Just leadership throughout the organization, leaders typically have initiative, lots of initiative,” Jackson says. “And so if you have a classroom teacher that has just a lot of initiative, they’re going to do everything they can for their students to ensure that they’re, they have the right resources, they have the right lessons in place.”

Jackson says the committee members talked about leadership development and teaching those skills to employees in their first meeting. The committee members will attend meetings for one year and they were nominated by fellow employees. Jackson says the committee is still a new idea, so it may evolve this year and next year.