New Franklin County superintendent focusing on security, teacher pay and retention, CTE education

Franklin County New Superintendent outlines goals
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 11:09 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN CO., Va. (WDBJ) - Franklin County Public Schools students are being welcomed back to school under new leadership.

Superintendent Kevin Siers says he’s excited to have kids back in the classroom. He says this year his priorities are safety, teacher pay and retention, and expanding the CTE programs.

Thursday afternoon Siers cheered on the JV Football team. Franklin County was taking on his former district.

“And the reason we want to look here is, you know, it’s a little bit bigger school division than Pulaski County,” explained Siers. “So, there are different types of challenges.”

They are challenges Siers says he’s ready to face head-on – beginning with addressing teacher pay. A study in 2022 found the division paid between 7.8% and 13.3% less than the local average.

“One of the goals is to try to work through the budget process to come up with the second phase of the salary scale implementation that would hopefully keep us competitive with some of the neighboring school divisions,” explained Siers.

Currently, Siers says the division only has 10 vacancies to fill. He says this is a record low for the county.

Despite facing funding barriers – Siers says there is a school resource officer at each school. Security is top of mind.

“It is our hope that we can get security audits done at each school within the next year, and really start addressing that in our strategic plan and capital plan, and make sure we’re doing everything possible to keep our school safe,” added Siers.

The school board has approved a new CTE building. Siers hopes to get the project moving forward.

“That would be a huge accomplishment for the county and for the school board, and I would like to be part in helping move that forward if possible,” said Siers.

We asked what parents should know about Siers’ leadership.

“Just that I will be visible in the community, I want to hear feedback on how we’re doing. I want to try to and open up avenues for conversations,” responded Siers.

For Siers, teachers, and staff – helping students excel is the priority.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure that each student who walks through the door of our schools feels welcomed and feels that they can be successful and that they belong there and that they can be successful in our schools,” added Siers, with the hope of creating a school environment that reflects the values and needs of the community.