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Strategic Planning Committee Defines Expectations of Excellence

Oxford, Mississippi (January 15, 2019) — Twenty-three stakeholders gathered on Monday to chart the course for the Oxford School District’s next five years, launching the strategic planning process. This endeavor will guide the actions of the district, its schools, and department levels. Facilitated by AdvancED®, the process will establish comprehensive improvement by which it translates our mission into viable and measurable goals, initiatives, and programs.

The meetings are facilitated by Barbara Jane (BJ) Paris, Texas AdvancED® Director, who began the first session with her belief that “schools are living organisms, they are either growing or dying — there is no status quo.” Paris is a longtime educator and past-president of both the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. A recognized advocate for school safety through strong culture, Paris has testified before Congress, served on the White House Panel on Bullying and appeared in multiple media sources to include CNN Headline News, USA Today, and as a school safety expert on national television. She is recognized by governmental proclamations from both the House of Representatives and the Texas Senate for her service to schools, as well as the ASCD Leader of Learners Award, US Commanders Award for Public Service, and the School Safety Advocacy Council Award. 

AdvancED® advised the district and OSD Board of Trustees to select a committee of students, parents, educators, administrators and professionals and community leaders who were Oxford residents and had a close affiliation with the district. The committee members are:   

  • Marilyn Barnes
    AVID Coordinator
  • Yolanda Logan
    Administrator
  • Romana Reed
    Board Member
  • Hiburnia Anderson
    Classified Staff
  • Toni Avant
    Parent & Director of the Career Center at Ole Miss
  • Kendedrick Jones
    Administrator
  • Angela Brown
    Teacher
  • Mary Martha Crowe
    Teacher
  • Brittany Franks
    Teacher
  • Kelsey Dodson
    OHS Counselor
  • Betsy Smith
    Board Member
  • Steve Hurdle
    Administrator
  • Brian Harvey
    Administrator
  • Bradley Roberson
    Administrator
  • Doug Cromwell
    Administrator
  • Teasha Sanders
    Parent & Asst. Oxford Housing Director
  • Marcia Cole
    Community Member
  • Tristan Shorter
    10th Grade Student
  • Norah Bruce
    8th Grade Student
  • Edy Dingus
    Community Member
  • William Schnek
    Parent & Associate Director of Croft Institute
  • Jon Maynard
    EDF Chairman
  • Harry Rayburn
    Parent 
  • Richard Balkin
    Parent & Professor in Counselor Education

In the Spring of 2018, Superintendent Brian Harvey invited the community to participate in creating a Portrait of a Graduate, which defines what skills the district believes most important for 21st-century success. “We are calling these transdisciplinary skills- the skills that stay with students for the rest of their lives,” Harvey explained at the beginning of the meeting. “We also set the bar high with our 95 in Five plan that defines the measurable benchmarks for the next five years- the disciplinary skills that include student achievement. Your work on the strategic plan will set these initiatives into action.”

Facilitator Paris asked the group to begin by answering 3 questions: (1) what do you love about the Oxford School District? (2) what changes would you like to see? (3) what do you hope to accomplish with this process? Common themes appeared for all three questions — we are committed to excellence, innovation, and equity. 

The committee will meet five times, once per month, January through May.