New Highland County School Superintendent Has No Illusions About Challenges That Lie Ahead
Monterey, Va – The Highland County Public School system has a new superintendent. Dr. William Crawford took over from Percy Nowlin on July 1. Dr. Crawford has a long history in public education having been a classroom science teacher for several years before moving into school administration as a Principal and then as a
He spent several years as a Superintendent in western North Carolina before moving to Virginia to be Superintendent in Orange County. Dr. Crawford has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Appalachian State University and graduate degrees in education from North Carolina A & T University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Orange County Virginia and commutes to Monterey.
Dr. Crawford has stepped into his job at a critical time for the Highland County Public Schools as declining enrollment and state budget cuts are putting pressure on the school administration. Dr. Crawford discusses his plans for the coming school year.
“My major focus for the coming year is going to be on sustainability of Highland County schools” says Dr. Crawford. “I had a meeting with the staff the other day, with Principals and with the Executive director; and that was one of the first things on our topical agenda. We will be looking at creative solutions to how we run a school effectively and efficiently with a limited amount of resources.”
Dr. Crawford sat in on some of the meetings with state education officials earlier this year and offers his impression of the upcoming effort to find funds for the schools in future years.
“It will cost the state a very, very small amount of money to change some funding issues the way that we’ve requested them to be done” he says. “I don’t want to say the word formula, because we have not asked the state School Board or the state school Superintendent to change formulas. We’ve just asked them to look at some different funding scenarios; and I think if they’ll do that I think they’ll find that this is a good compromise to help Highland sustain itself. And I think it’s important for the state of Virginia for communities like Highland to have their own school system; this is a financial viability situation not just for the school, but for the county.”
Dr. Crawford understands that the school system is not only critical for education of the county’s youth, it is also one of the largest employers in the county. The School Board and Dr. Crawford will be working with Highland County’s representatives to the state legislature as well as members of the Governor’s staff to get a funding proposal into the next Governor’s budget. In these difficult economic times that will undoubtedly be a challenge.
When he needs a break from work, Dr. Crawford enjoys piloting his single engine Cessna aircraft and traveling the scenic roads in Virginia on his motorcycle.