LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As Little Rock students wrap up their final classes, current superintendent Michael Poore is getting ready to retire. That also means that a new superintendent is preparing for day one.
Incoming Little Rock School District Superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright said he's, "more than excited for day one."
Dr. Wright's first day with the new superintendent title is July 1st, but he's already in town for a few days this week to begin the transition process.
Wright is coming from leading a school district in Mississippi.
Now, as current superintendent Michael Poore passes the torch to a new LRSD leader, Dr. Wright is taking the time to soak it all in.
Change can be difficult for all parties involved, but Dr. Wright encouraged everyone to welcome the passing of the torch with an open mind, and expect great leadership from him.
"The first thing that I will say is that, of course, I'm not Mr. Poore and so you cannot expect me to be Mr. Poore. I am my own individual. I think Mr. Poore has done a marvelous job guiding this ship-- but what I can say to folks is to expect me to be a champion for children, expect me to be a champion for all things Little Rock," he said.
After a 4 month interview process and years of working both in the classroom and administration, Dr. Wright said he feels ready to run one of the largest school districts in Arkansas and that "the demographics are very similar to other places that [he's] worked."
For many of the schools on his resume, Wright has helped improved graduation rates and performance tiers.
Now as he settles into Little Rock, there are a certain set of initiatives that he has his eyes set on.
"initiatives such as early literacy, early numeracy, early childhood, and making sure that our students who come from low income and impoverished backgrounds, that they have a strong start to their schooling experience. We know if kids have a strong start, then they'll have a strong finish," he said.
Wright also pointed out that running a school district is not a cookie-cutter process though and that there can be changes in results.
"Just because something worked well in another place, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will work here in Little Rock," he said.
Earlier this month, state legislators like Sen. Joyce Elliot advocated for Wright's selection. Wright said he's already working to keep an open communication channel with legislators, having already met with them informally on Tuesday.
"We're already putting together a transition team that will be instrumental. All of those individuals will play a key part in helping me and helping the school district to achieve our goals," Wright said.
But overall, Wright shared his passion for helping those at the heart of the school district--the students.
"I'm here to make sure that every student who walks through the doors of our schools, that when they leave Little Rock School District, that they will be prepared for anything in life that they want to do," he said.