By DIANE WINIECKI
As announced earlier this week, Bryant School District has a new superintendent, Randy Rutherford.I had the privilege of talking with Mr. Rutherford and getting to know the man behind the title, a leader who will take the school district into the 21st century of education.
His goals for Bryant School District are simply to continue the excellent foundation set by outgoing superintendent Dr. Richard Abernathy and the voice of Bryant residents, addressing new facilities and continued growth of the school district and implementing problem solving and critical thinking skills.[more]
“Collaboration and communication is a must between myself, teachers, all staff of the Bryant School District right down to the custodians. Our people have the answers, we just need to be willing to listen,” stated Rutherford.
I asked him what he believes to be the most difficult task that teachers face in the classroom today, his response was, “Teaching to the test brings anxiety into the classroom for the teacher.” With No Child Left Behind and academic accountability, educators feel pressure for their students’ passing of testing that, in turn, provides funding for school districts.
On a personal level, Rutherford is married to Robbie Rutherford (he proposed in a parking lot — I had to ask), a Benton Junior High School principal. They have one child, Nate, who is in eighth grade at Benton Junior High. I asked what it was like having a “Hornet” and a “Panther” at the dinner table, he chuckled and replied, “It’s all good.”
When I inquired what he believes in, he did not hesitate, “my Lord Jesus Christ and family.” At one time in his life he thought he wanted to be an accountant only to realize his calling is working with children, which resulted in the title Coach Rutherford.
One word to describe himself? “Communicator,” he replied. One word to describe Bryant School District? “Awesome.”