One local school district superintendent is going above and beyond to connect with his students. Pascagoula-Gautier Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich spent the first day of school visiting every classroom in his district’s schools.
“I’m Mr. Rodolfich, your superintendent. I wanted to say welcome back and I hope you have a good year.’ Trips to 550 classrooms in seven hours? “Oh yeah, it’s a workout, but I am up to the challenge.”
Pascagoula-Gautier School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich visited every classroom in his 18-school district, all in one day. “You know it’s just real important for us to have that connection on the first day of school. It is very important that our students know that we’re here to support them. I mean, I work for children and teachers in this school district, as well as the community, but it is just about making that initial connection.”
For Rodolfich, it’s more than just checking in on students as they prepare to hit the books. He tries to help students better themselves in any way he can. “The world has expectations for all of us and at some point, all of us are going to have to have a job and be out in the real world and we’re just trying to teach good habits to young people. We get this information from the industries and the businesses that are trying to hire our students and those are basically the things that they ask us to do to make sure that children dress well, speak well, they’re on time, they’re present, and they out-work everyone. That’s a great form of success no matter what your level of education is.”
While the main focus is on the students, Rodolfich takes time to visit with the faculty from each school, letting them know how important they are to the district’s success. Teacher Eric Hollis said, “It is good for the kids to see his face. It’s good for us to know that he has our backs. It’s just huge to have the leader of the school district to be able to stop in to say ‘hey, welcome. Have a good school year.’ It’s just good to be visible like that for us.”
As for the success of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District? “Our graduation rate is above the state average. Our ACTs are above the state average. We have state of the art everything in this school district. We’re a one to one technology district from fourth through 12th grade. There’s just a wide array of things that are positive for children here,” said Rodolfich.