News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

New school year, new man at helm

By Michael Butler

New Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Wade Shipman joked about his family arriving into town late Sunday night.

"We looked like the Clampetts," said Shipman referring to the "Beverly Hillbillies television show. "We're having moving weekend. It's busy at the Shipman house."

Shipman will have three children enrolling as Tallassee students with the onset of classes on Aug. 11.

"We've had a lot of conversations with our children on looking into the opportunities that this offers as a family. Anytime you start a new venture like we have, it's always good to get out and meet as many people as we can. They're excited to try and find some friends."

Shipman likes what he has seen in Tallassee so far. "It's a great community. For me, I need to fit into that mold and take in some of that Tallassee pride."

Among the aspects of focus for Shipman is school safety.

"That's always paramount and should be on any superintendent's mind as you start a school year. You just want to make sure that your kids get to school and home safely."

Shipman wants to institute a strategic plan for TCS. "Change is going to happen. Change happens over time, one decision at a time. The system as a whole looks pretty strong academically. We're moving in the right direction.

"I'd like to give a lot of recognition to our principals. One of the things that I did as I came into the system was to visit each school. I sat down with each of our principals and had a nice discussion with each one of them. I can tell now that we have three outstanding leaders. I'm very fortunate to have an outstanding central office staff. I'm really looking forward to the year. We have a tremendous support system for a good year."


Jose Reyes, Tallassee Elementary School (K-4) - "Things are looking good. The teachers are ready. We'll have about 750 kids. I know they're ready to get back. I know their parents are ready for them to get back. I know how that is because I'm a parent as well. We've got some new folks. We added several hometown folks with some Tallassee High School graduates. That's always a good thing. You want to have a little diversity, but (when) you hire somebody that's local you know they're going to stay around and their heart's really in it."

Bruce Dean, Southside Middle School (5-8) - "We've got a model this year, 'Make A Difference.' Attitudes are going to be great. We're pushing 600 students. I want to thank the parents that turned out for our open house. Parental support is very important, so parents keep that up. I feel like the kids enjoy coming to school. We have some great teachers, but it is hard to entertain a child for 60 minutes. We create a lot of strategies and techniques to do that."

Matt Coker, Tallasseee High School (9-12) - "We have approximately 550 students this year. It's always exciting to begin a new year at the high school. You have two groups that are extremely excited and on opposite ends of the spectrum. You have a new group of ninth graders that are beginning a new adventure and you have your seniors who are finishing up a 13-year journey. This senior class will be the first group that began and ended their high school years with me as their principal.  The summer was quick and busy.  We hired eight new teachers this summer and it's always exciting to bring new people into the Tallassee School System." 

Send Comments