New Superintendent Plans For Upcoming School Year

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For Vinton County Local School's new superintendent, summertime means preparing for the upcoming school year. For right now, that means focusing on personnel.

Supt. Rick Brooks, who previously served as the principal of West Elementary, has already found his replacement. Assistant Supt. Mary Ann Hale will continue in her current role and also take on the position of the school principal.

“The district is very appreciative that she's willing to take on that dual role,” Brooks said.

By the end of this week, Brooks anticipates making final decisions on who will become the district's new special education coordinator. Debra Andrews retired at the end of the school year.

Next on his list will be to find replacements for the district's school psychologist, two elementary school teachers and two high school teachers.

As previously reported, Brooks took on the role of school superintendent on June 1. He replaces John Simmons, who retired.

For Brooks, one of his professional goals was to become the lead administrator of his hometown district, and it's finally come true.

“Ironically, I ended up back at my high school,” Brooks said with a laugh.

The district's administration office is housed in the old high school building, where Brooks, 53, graduated in 1978.

Brooks had been the principal of West Elementary School for the past 11 years and served two years as principal of Zaleski Elementary. Prior to serving in an administrative role, Brooks coached varsity basketball and taught U.S. history at Vinton County High School.

He started his career in education in Jackson City Schools and later moved back to his home county to take the teaching position at the high school.

“Being able to serve my home county was very important to me,” Brooks said.

While he said he'll miss the day-to-day interaction with students, Brooks said he'll make it a priority to visit all the school buildings to connect with students and staff of all levels.

“I'm not looking to make a lot of changes in my first year,” Brooks said. “I'll take this first year to absorb everything. I'll make it my priority to get out to all the buildings and see what the needs are, and how we can improve or enhance what's going on.”