Directing Education Marketing
Efforts to Draw Student Interest in Public Schools
By Dr. Rod Berger
Dr. W.L. “Trey” Holladay III, Superintendent of Athens City Schools in Alabama, has seen it all in public education. The 30-year education veteran has spent time as a system-wide administrator, high school principal, elementary principal, assistant principal, athletic director, classroom teacher, and head football coach – all within the state of Alabama.
In his current role as superintendent, Trey has similar budgetary concerns to other superintendents but separates himself in his creative approach to outside funding. Holladay prefers to use outside funding strictly for extracurricular activities and sports programs to avoid the appearance of having outside money compromise the integrity of his academic program. Most funding management is handled through an educational foundation, furthering the implementation of his belief in the “separation of church and state.”
Communication and marketing is a large part of Trey’s job, in no small part because of the open enrollment nature of the schools. There is a pronounced effort to actively market homeschool and private school students to boost their numbers, increase funding, and provide additional resources to bring the best possible education to the students of Athens.
Trey sees the future of education shifting in the direction of personalized learning. Presently, five to ten percent of students are on a personalized learning track but the district is making a concerted effort to increase the numbers over the next 10 – 20 years.
Technology is part of the process, and Athens City Schools has made it a point to merge technology with instruction. Like so many other districts throughout the U.S, as digital citizenship takes hold, the need to differentiate technology from curriculum may very well disappear.
About Dr. W.L. “Trey” Holladay III
Trey Holladay is a thirty-year veteran public school educator with twenty-seven years spent in educational leadership. He holds an undergraduate degree from Athens State University in social science, a master’s degree from The University of West Alabama in educational leadership, a specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University in educational leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University. He is in his third-year as superintendent of the Athens City Schools system. His previous experience includes system-wide administrator, high school principal, elementary principal, assistant principal, athletic director, classroom teacher, and head football coach within the state of Alabama.
Trey has been a frequent speaker on best practices in continuous school improvement and special education on both the national and state levels: he has spoken at the Consortium of School Networking in Atlanta, Georgia; the National Association of State Special Education Directors in Williamsburg, Virginia; The American Society of Quality in Education in St. Louis, Missouri; and the Alabama State Department of Education’s Mega Conference and Alabama Transitions on best practices in special education models. He has served as a mentor for new principals and assistant principals throughout the state. In the past, he served as the president of the state principals’ association and was selected as the Alabama Secondary Principal of the Year.
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This article was originally published in the Huffington Post by Dr. Rod Berger
- Mind Shift – The Growing Role of Technology in Personalized Learning
- The Atlantic – Are Teachers Becoming Obsolete?
- Ed Scoop – As personalized learning expands, edtech ‘plumbing’ is as important as ever