COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -She’s putting the rumors to rest, Columbus Schools Superintendent Martha Liddell is speaking for herself. The spotlight was put on Liddell after a series of articles in the Commercial Dispatch in Columbus. Then came a closer look at what some say are some missteps that could have hurt her ability to lead and harmed the district’s image with the public.
“To be fair you need to ask and get the facts so I’m delighted for this.” said Liddell.
After Tuesday night’s Columbus School Board meeting and a closed executive session that lasted 3 and 1/2 hrs; many thought Superintendent Martha Liddell’s job was on the line. But the turn out of community members and parents that night in support really set the tone for this superintendent.
“I feel like I’ve gained support, if you were here last night you would see and everybody that I talked to that came last night said this. We want you to do what you were hired ti do and that is to make sure that our children are getting a great education and we are here to support that and that’s why they were here. I have gained support in all of this,” added Liddell.
There have been claims concerning giving school school custodians and maintenance personnel improper days off. Liddell explains it was a mistake made by her and her personnel member.
“I do believe around spring break and Christmas break they took some days off where they were suppose to be working, the buck stops with the superintendent and the superintendent took care of that matter. I talked with that personnel member, it was a mistake on their part, they didn’t do it on purpose, was their any malice in it, was it anything like that. The only thing that happened is that the policy was not followed,” said Liddell.
“Do you feel like there’s a vendetta against you in any way?
Absolutely not. Leaders are under scrutiny and they should be. Absolutely everyone that sits in a chair like this as superintendent you’re being held accountable for tax payers dollars. I love this school district, love this community, I respect the Board of Trustees, they needed to do some fact finding, they did that, we were happy to give those facts and that all were asking,” said Liddell.
“Do you feel like this will be the end of things and the board will be able to move forward?
I’m in the first year of a three year contract and I’m having the time of my life. When I think about it, yea there’s been challenges, yes you have a lot of rumors but when you have an opportunity to share the facts because my job hasn’t changed and that’s to make sure kids get an education, that’s what I plan to do the remainder of this contract,” added Liddell.
Liddell says she prides herself on making this school district as transparent as possible and will continue to do that.
“It’s fine to be transparent, you need to be transparent, every tax payer need to be able to look at our docket. Now that does not happen in 70% of the school districts,” said Liddell.
In the last part of Superintendent Martha Liddell’s interview we talk about why project 20-20 is being delayed to what’s in store for the future of the Columbus School District.