By Richard Greene | Wise County Messenger
ON THE JOB – Decatur ISD interim superintendent Brett Springston started his stint with Decatur July 22. Messenger photo by Richard Greene
Brett Springston is not taking time to hang pictures or memorabilia on the walls of his office in the Decatur ISD Administration Building.
He cautioned that decorating was not worth the effort for his short stint. And while his title is interim superintendent, he’s making sure everyone knows he’s not here to be a seatwarmer for the permanent hire. He’s in Decatur to improve the district in the short term.
“I don’t know how to work any other way,” Springston said.
Springston arrived in Decatur June 22 after finishing up a stint as the interim superintendent at Damon ISD in January. He was previously the superintendent at Bartlett on two occasions. He was also the superintendent at Brownsville from December 2009 through July 2011, overseeing 57 campuses.
Decatur ISD School Board President Charlie Tibbels pointed out Springston’s vast array of experience in big and small districts and in a number of roles from campus principal, assistant superintendent to leading districts as the superintendent.
“He’s really stressed being proactive like he did today pointing out the need to replace the air conditioner,” said Tibbels following Monday’s first board meeting with Springston. “He’s looking at things a different way. He was a superintendent over operations and has the experience dealing with the day to day operations.
“What I like is his positive energy.”
DISCUSSING THE JOB – Decatur ISD interim superintendent Brett Springston speaks with School Board Vice President Matt Joiner at the July 29 meeting. Messenger photo by Richard Greene
Springston points out that a positive attitude is part of building relationships. It’s the first in what he calls the 3 Rs of education: relationships, relevance and rigor.
“The 3 Rs theory is pretty easy,” Springston said. “You’ve got to have relationships with the kids; because in today’s world we are trying to teach to inferencing. It’s how to be creative. That is 40 percent of the test taking. How do kids think creatively? How can you get a kid to think creatively, if you don’t develop a relationship with them, and if you don’t know how they tick and where they are from? And in order to teach rigor, you’ve got to build relationships.
“The other part of that formula is making it relevant. If you can make something relevant and you have a relationship with them, you can teach them rigor. Then instead of being a B district, you’ve just become an A district because you’ve intensified what we are teaching, and we’re teaching creativity all through relationships, relevance and rigor. Pretty simple.”
He said that approach gets away from “one size fits all” and takes the state curriculum and makes it relevant to the district.
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