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Supt. finalist: Noris Price
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Superintendent finalist Noris Price has earned a number of awards for excelling in education and said her skills and experience are what make her the best candidate for the position of superintendent with the Newton County School System.

Price, who is the deputy superintendent for the Clarke County School District in Athens, said she is fully prepared to work as superintendent of the NCSS and that she wants to continue the mission of providing educational excellence for all students.

Before being promoted to deputy superintendent for the Clarke County Schools in 2012, Price served as the associate superintendent for the district from 2007 to 2012.

She was a principal in the Fulton County School District in Atlanta from 1997 to 2007 and also a principal and assistant principal in the Fairfax County Public Schools District in Falls Church, Va., between 1990 and 1997.

She has been in education for more than 30 years, beginning her career in 1981 as a teacher at a school in New York. Price said the possibility of becoming superintendent in the Newton County School District is a great opportunity to make a difference in a community that continues to thrive and value public education.

“I have developed my leadership skills through varied successful educational experiences at the central office and building levels in three states. Furthermore, I have led schools that required new programs and changes in instructional practices to produce improved student achievement results,” she said.

“The Newton County School System in many ways is like the Clarke County School District — there has been a transformation in teaching and learning and I have the background needed to shepherd the school system across all areas in which a superintendent leads including teaching and learning, finance, human resources, operations and community relations.”

Price, 53, said she loves working in the Clarke County School District but believed that becoming a superintendent is the next logical step in her professional continuum.

She said she has been successful in developing positive relationships with all stakeholders and has been instrumental in the creation, development, and implementation of many educational programs, initiatives and services through her education career, which she said have positively impacted the performance of all students at the school and district levels.

“I led a school through a major restructuring process after rezoning that resulted in the school being named a Title I Distinguished School multiple times and receiving the Georgia School of Excellence Award as well as the National PTA Parent Involvement School of Excellence Award,” she said.

Also, as an associate superintendent for instructional services and as the deputy superintendent for Clarke County Schools, Price said she developed and implemented the Non-Negotiable Practices for High Student Performance, which was adopted by the Clarke County School Board in August 2009.

“Through the implementation of these practices, we have been able to maintain a laser-focus approach on high standards for student performance while at the same time, developing the required knowledge and skills in school leaders and teachers,” Price said.

“Leadership is about service and my track record in schools and in systems is rooted in my desire to lead and learn with and on behalf of all stakeholders.”

As for the Newton County School System’s budget, Price said she believed a school system should prioritize its needs based on the system’s strategic plan and judiciously watch the budget as the school system makes decisions that will impact the instructional program and its personnel.

“I will need time to review the existing budget, the projected shortages due to increased insurance premiums and/or required step increases for certain teachers, and begin to look at patterns in the ways in which district and school personnel are deployed; the uses of resources and the ways in which resources are allocated to ensure equity; and an alternative budgeting process such as zero-based budgeting,” she said. “In my current school district, we have used the zero-based budgeting process for the past two years to lower costs and to reallocate resources.”

When it comes to having the backing from a community as a leader in education, Price said in any profession, you are always going to have those who support you in the work that you have to do and those who will not.

“It would be highly unusual if everyone supported you 100 percent of the time. Therefore, a few naysayers will always be there and will always have questions and concerns, and that is OK. I believe my track record speaks for itself,” she said.

“Unfortunately, there will always be small pockets of stakeholders who will not be pleased regardless of the process used to make decisions that will get the results a system needs to achieve academic excellence. In the end, my priority will continue to be the education of our students.”

If appointed superintendent of the Newton County School System, Price said she would communicate on a monthly basis with the media, employees and most importantly the community made up of parents, citizens and taxpayers who have a vested interest in their school system.

“It is imperative that the community knows what is going on in their school system,” she said.

Price has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Wilmington College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Lehman College of the City University of New York. She also has a leadership certificate from George Mason University.

She obtained her doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University, which she said was earned through taking a combination of face-to-face weekend classes as well as online classes taught by top–notch professors and guest lectures.

Price is on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors, the co-chair of the Teach to Learn Grant Advisory Board, on the Board of Directors of the Clark County Mentor Program, and the co-chair of the Whatever it Takes Promise Neighborhood K-12 Initiative. She also volunteers for various community events.

“I believe that my varied and diverse background, dedication to leadership for learning, and my unyielding commitment to make a difference in the lives of all students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community can make a positive and lasting contribution to the Newton County School System,” Price said.

Price and her husband Tony have been married for 29 years. They have one son, Juan, who attends Auburn University. They have lived in Athens for more than five years, but if offered the opportunity as superintendent, Price said they would move to Newton County.