The Valdosta Daily Times
Owen Clemons, a native of Valdosta, was voted in as Superintendent of Brooks County Schools on June 11. After being involved with the school system for 20 years and having a father who was the first black man to run for the Board of Education in Lowndes County, it was only natural that Clemons take this step.
"I am planning on getting the community more involved. I am a firm believer in the old cliche 'It takes a village to raise a child.' And that means we've got to get the community more involved. We have to have that partnership with the community, and we have to make the school system the hub of that community. I think that is really important in having an effective school system, " said Clemons.
While he cited community involvement as one of the changes he hopes to implement, Clemons also understands that he has a lot of learning to do.
"Before I begin making changes I need to hit the ground learning, so to speak, and learn some procedures and operations there and really get a full understanding of how the system works here.
"We need to be more concerned, not only about tests taking skills, but making sure our students are able to analyze, solve problems, critical thinking and applying the knowledge they are learning. And working together as a team and make a connection between what they learn in class and what they do after graduation. We also have to make sure our graduation rate increases. That's our number one thing, we need to keep kids in school. Not just high school students, but all students," Clemons explained.
As for what he is looking most forward to, Clemons stated, “I guess I am most looking forward to the challenges. I know there will be a number of challenges and I am looking forward to being able to work with the community and the staff to make this a model school system. I am looking forward to collaborating with all of the stakeholders to make this a more effective school.”
Clemons also added that he owed a lot of his success to his parents. Neither of his parents were high school graduates, but they always pushed the importance of education.
“They gave me and my siblings the opportunity to go to college if that is what we wanted. They always supported us and instilled the importance of education in us all of our lives.”
Superintendent Clemons is a graduate of Lowndes High School. Following his graduation, he recieved an undergraduate degree in middle grades education from Albany State College. His first teaching job was at Lowndes Middle School, where he was a math teacher and a coach for boys and girls basketball. He later went to Valdosta State University to get his masters degree in middle grades education and his specialist degree in educational leadership.