Familiar face chosen to fill District 15 position

A new assistant community education director has been hired to replace Tom Larson, and it is someone familiar to the St. Francis School District.

New community education leader Troy Ferguson.
New community education leader Troy Ferguson.

Troy Ferguson started his new job a few weeks ago, but the former district student, employee and school board member already knows most of the employees working under him and his job.

“It’s exciting. This is my dream job,” said Ferguson of stepping into the role held by Larson for over 20 years.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be here and I can’t think of a better place to be.”

As the head of the community education and building services departments, Ferguson said he will have the opportunity to make a difference in the programs and in people’s lives.

“I have never been afraid to talk to people,” said the 1978 St. Francis High School graduate.

And that will come in handy as Ferguson tries to find out what people want from the community education department and what services the department can provide to increase opportunities to district residents, he said.

Since starting July 18, Ferguson has attended before school open houses at all of the schools and has been meeting his staff in the building services, The Courier, adult basic education and Early Childhood Education departments.

It was so encouraging to see the excitement of the parents and the students, Ferguson said of attending the open houses.

As he learns his new job, his first important task is to met with the managers of the individual department and hear about each department and its needs, Ferguson said.

In the coming months, Ferguson plans on having all of his department managers meet and talk.

“There is a heck of a lot of talent in this group and they can help the department (improve how it functions),” he said.

He has a bunch of terrific mangers, Ferguson said.

“Their input can bring about positive change,” he said.

As a school board member from 2004-2008, Ferguson said he understands the importance of fiscal responsibility.

It was why he ran for school board, he said.

During his term, the school district had to dig itself out of statutory operating debt (SOD).

This district has made financial and technical advances since he left the board in 2008, Ferguson said.

The district is no longer in SOD, it has developed the Teachers Academy and introduced Smart Boards and iPads into the classroom, he said.

All of these changes were designed to have a positive impact on students and he wants to continue that progress in community education, Ferguson said.

“I think I can help enhance the goals of the district and increase the opportunities for adults and kids in the district,” he said.

Although most of Ferguson’s career history has been working in special education and with unique learners, he also licensed to be a secondary social studies teacher, K-12 education administration, superintendent and special education director.

He is finishing his license in community education.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]