Thomas Long's 35th year in public education is his first as Pleasants County's Superintendent of Schools, but while he's entering a new school system, he's facing many of the same education concerns.
Pleasants is the third county where Thomas Long has served as Superintendent of Schools. Last year, the county's enrollment fell by 82 students, one of the largest declines in recent memory. That in itself could affect per pupil aid to what already is one of the area's smallest school systems.
“When we lose dollars, we lose the ability to offer needed programs, and required programs for our students,” Thomas Long says.
While Long is coming to a new school system, he's facing the same types of problems. They range from budgetary concerns to meeting federal guidelines. Both Saint Mary’s High and Pleasants County middle school were recently named as deficient in meeting proficiency standards for disadvantaged and special education students.
“We'll look at those test scores, we'll look at those sub-groups, and we'll do our best to step up to the plate and we'll see improvement,” adds Long.
Long believes in public input on education issues, something he'll undoubtedly get as the board of education tackles these issues. Employees report to school in Pleasants County Thursday, and the first day of classes is next Tuesday.