Douthitt seeking community feedback at forums

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Butler County School Superintendent Darren Douthitt has only been on the job a few days, but he’s already had to field some tough questions.

“I was on a walk-through at Greenville Elementary School and had just stuck my head in Mrs. Gafford’s class to say hello . . . Mrs. Gafford called me back in to answer some questions from these 4th graders,” Douthitt said.

“They were my toughest crowd so far. They had plenty of questions for me, from ‘How much money do you make?’ to ‘What are you going to do about bullies?’ I started sweating in there. But I love the inquisitiveness of kids. They aren’t afraid to speak up.”

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Going on walk-throughs of all the schools has been part of Douthitt’s busy schedule in the district since he started on May 3. In an effort to get to know the people of Butler County better, he has also attended functions such as the Achiever Award Banquet, Greenville Kiwanis and the McKenzie Athletic Banquet, as well as visiting a local church with Dr. Simmons.

He is also hoping to get plenty of community feedback through a series of public forums starting this Thursday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at McKenzie School.

“There are lots of rumors going around, lots of misunderstandings, and I want the opportunity to listen to the community and to clear up some of the confusion,” Douthitt said.

“I can’t predict what will happen in the future, but I know we have to do our utmost to best serve the students and improve our financial situation. However, there will be no ‘behind closed doors’ decisions made about our schools. No drastic actions will be taken before crossing all the ‘Ts’ and dotting the ‘Is.'”