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Interim super Jefferson has big plans

On the right lapel of his suit coat, Donald Jefferson, Ed.D., interim superintendent of Selma City Schools, will always sport a small gold pin displaying one word — attitude.

“I’m convinced life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it,” Jefferson said. “You are in charge of your attitude. I am a firm believer in that.”

Jefferson plans to use his positive attitude to change the Selma City Schools.

His first plan will be visible by the first day of school this August.

A team of workers will clean the exteriors and interiors of the schools in order to enhance their appearances.

Jefferson would also like to improve the classroom management skills of teachers, provide challenging curriculum for students and inform teachers of varying classroom instructional methods involving more than just textbooks, all during his time as interim superintendent, which lasts four months or until the position is filled.

School board members have that period to hire a new superintendent, unless the board asks the state Department of Education if they have not found a suitable candidate. The position must also be advertised for at least 30 days before the board can begin the interviewing and selection process.

“I think Dr. Jefferson brings something else to the table from being from here and understanding the community,” said Tammy Maul, a parent of two children in Selma City Schools and deputy district director for Congressman Artur Davis. “Because I have children in the system, and because I am a citizen of this community, I want our children to have the best. I want our children to have someone who really cares about their education. Dr. Jefferson is that person.”

A graduate of Selma High School class of 1975, physical education teacher at Eastside Junior High School in 1980, athletic coach at Selma High School, principal of Selma High School from 1993 until 1999, Jefferson is fluent with Selma and the school system, especially since this is his 30th year in education.

He has also worked in schools statewide in the Auburn-Opelika-Tuskegee area, Enterprise, Daleville and in Covington County, and most recently as administrative assistant in the LEA Compliance Review program at the state Department of Education, which monitors public school systems for compliance with laws and regulations.

As Jefferson officially assumes the superintendent position Thursday, Dr. Austin Obasohan will move to his new position of superintendent in Duplin, N.C.

“We have already hit the ground running and with his leadership the transition has been quite smooth,” Jefferson said.