The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

June 10, 2014

Anderson schools get new leader, move to save Wigwam


ANDERSON — The Anderson Community Schools Board of Trustees on Tuesday night selected Terry Thompson as the district's new superintendent.

The board also approved a resolution that could lead to the revitalization of the iconic Wigwam gymnasium and remove it from the list of derelict Anderson buildings. That vote, too, was unanimous.

Speaking to the audience from a prepared statement after he was confirmed, Thompson said, "I want to thank you for sharing your most precious commodity with our school system, your children.

"By allowing me to become your schools' superintendent, you have challenged me to always make decisions that are best for your children and all future children who attend Anderson Community Schools, and I thank you for this privilege."

The 60-year-old veteran educator said he will immediately undertake a six-point plan that includes an assessment of the district's strengths, weaknesses and needs; undertake a public relations campaign to promote Anderson schools, and begin community forums and collaborations.

Before the vote, teachers, students, community residents and education colleagues spoke about Thompson's virtues, as they did during last week's special board meeting, a public hearing on a proposed superintendent contract.

Anderson High School Spanish teacher Alan Landes told the board he's worked for eight principals during his teaching career. All of them "talked the talk," about being student-centered administrators.

So does Thompson, Landes added, "but I've never had a principal that walks the walk the way he does."

Landes said Thompson's arrival at Anderson High seemed to spark a cultural change that fostered a sense of possibility and freedom "where students felt safe and secure."

Laura Crenshaw, Thompson's administrative assistant at the high school, credited him with restoring school spirit and instituting a lot of changes in a short amount of time.

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