Sit Down with Dr. Phillis Edwards Dothan School SuperintendentRickey Stokes
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Feb 05 2019 4:44 PM
DOTHAN: Recently David Meckley and I met with Dothan School Superintendent Edwards concerning the Dothan Board of Education.
This was the first meeting, other than about 60 seconds, that I had ever met with Dr. Edwards. Recently I attended a Dothan School Board meeting where it was the "first ever" I have been impressed with.
Most Dothan School Board Meetings, watching paint dry is far more exciting.
But the past Dothan School Board meeting there was so much enthusiasm and exictment then I have ever seen.
Many had asked me questions for Dr. Edwards. She was very open and candid and I got the imnpression that Dr. Edwards was a very open and honest person.
She first came to the Dothan City Schools and observed. Watched. Listended.
Then Dr. Edwards then started talking to, guess who? Students. Then parents, teachers, administrators, support staff.
Dr. Edwards started reviewing data that has been complied on this history of the academics of the Dothan City School system. Then she started looking at the finances of the Dothan City Schools.
RICKEY STOKES WORDS HERE... the citizens of the City of Dothan WILL NOT approve a property tax increase at all for the school system. Has been tried several times, and it ain't gonna happen.
BACK TO DR. EDWARDS...
Dr. Edwards knew that the City of Dothan has not been in support of any tax increase for the Dothan City Schools. But she saw outdated facilities and infrastructure that had to be completely repaired instead of patched.
Dr. Edwards saw that the current path of the Dothan City Schools was a dead end path. That is was not one the students ( the future ) needed in order to achieve and be what they all have the potential to be.
So Dr. Edwards put on her body armor ( thick skin ), developed a plan with others, involved students, faculty, support students and worked to enlist parents.
RICKEY STOKES WORDS...
Some of the most harsh parents who were closed minded and could not see anything outside of the normal box they had always lived in. They could not see past their noses. And were not willing to listen, other than to fuss.
People School Board Members thought were their friends treated them like dirt. And many who Chairman Mike Schmitz thought were his friends were really never friends at all. They treated him like dirt.
AND FOR WHAT?
Doing something no one before them would do. FACE REALITY!
But Dr. Edwards has done more than humanly possible to engage the community and is on a path forward to give the children of the City of Dothan a education where they can moves towards the future after high school to create great things.
There are a lot of questions to be answered. And guess what? Dr. Edwards does not have all of those answers. Like money in the Band Boosters for duel schools. She has some ideas of which are more than fair. But she is a person that is willing to sit and talk, more than talk listen. To engage the students, parents and community. Make decisions, roll up the sleeves and make those decisions work.
I may be fooled. But Dr. Edwards is the real deal, honest deal who has one goal...making the students in the Dothan School System be all they can be.
Interview Part 1