New superintendent welcomed in Quitman

QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - We are officially wrapping up our special series, "Assignment:Education." This segment focuses on recently released ratings for local districts. In the fall the Mississippi Department of Education released grades for each. Statewide 9 school systems received an "F." That's a major improvement from last year when 20 districts failed. Today we're turning our attention to one system that now has a new leader.

Dr. Toriano Holloway is the new superintendent for the Quitman School District. He's taking over the position following Dr. Donna Boone's resignation in June.

Dr. Holloway is coming to Quitman from Starkville where he was the Assistant Superintendent for Operations. He says community involvement is a major part of his improvement strategy.

"If the community is going to be strong economically, we have to have good school systems," says Holloway.

To encourage community involvement, he says his plan is to be as transparent as possible.

"Community meetings and having an open door policy," says Dr. Holloway. "By making things accessible on-line and being consistent in following policies and procedures. Those are ways that we will interact with the community and keep their trust."

During the most recent testing Quitman High improved its rating to a "B". However, the district as a whole received a "D". To improve this grade, Superintendent Holloway says a great deal of focus will be placed on the elementary and junior high schools.

"When it comes to things associated with curriculum, instruction, assessments and the expectations' culture, we all need to be on the same page," says Holloway. "The expectations need to be consistent as they matriculate through our school system."

"We're very excited to have him," says Quitman High Principal Howard Savage, Jr. "We know that he's going to come in and help us do great things here at Quitman High School and at the whole school district."

"I'm excited! There are a lot of opportunities," says Holloway.

In all, there are 165 public school districts in Mississippi. Quitman ranks 113th on the list, and it has 1,997 students.