Educator sets historic mark for our schools

Published 9:07 am Thursday, June 16, 2011

Although it may have taken a little longer than in other parts of the country, one of the last vestiges of the gender barrier here in Lawrence County will come crumbling down this fall.

That is what will happen in August when Roni Hayes takes over the superintendent post of the Fairland School District, becoming the first female to hold the top position at any Lawrence County school.

Hayes will succeed Jerry McConnell, who will retire next month after serving as superintendent for the past 25 years.

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The long-time educator can be held up as a shining example that the glass ceiling — that figurative barrier that prevents females from achieving the same level of employment or position as their male counterparts — has been shattered in this case.

Hayes accomplished this the right way and no one handed her anything.

She worked her way up through the system as a teacher, principal and administrator, learning that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Her qualifications and preparation are evident by the unanimous decision by the school board.

This should be encouraging to educators in the other six Lawrence County public schools, as well as women in all fields here locally.

Those who believes our society has achieved true gender equality is deluding themselves, but we have come a long way.

This is another step toward the best candidate getting the job.