Dr. Jason Dees was elected President of the New Albany School Board at the March meeting. Dees is beginning his fifth year of service on the board. He recently reflected on his years spent as a student in the New Albany Schools and discussed goals he would like to see the board accomplish over the next year.
Dees is a 1990 graduate of W. P. Daniel High School where he was named salutatorian and received the E. B. Kennedy Scholarship. He graduated magna cum laude from Erskine College in 1994 and received the H. M. Young ring, the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the senior class. The award is based on usefulness to society, Christian character, and scholastic achievement.
Dr. Dees received his medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999. He completed his residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in women and children’s health. He is affiliated with the New Albany Medical Group.
According to Dees, New Albany Schools provided him with the academic foundation and extra curricular activities necessary to be successful in college and in his career. “Being involved in Mississippi Youth Congress was a great leadership tool for that point in my life,” Dees said. He also gave credit to his band experience. “The team work I learned there and the accepting nothing less than the best was incredible.”
Dees said that the math and science education he received in New Albany was second to none and very helpful as an undergraduate science major. He also mentioned that the Public Speaking and Business Computer Applications courses prepared him for college and he still uses many of those skills today.
He is a firm believer in public education and is happy to serve the community by being on the school board. “The public school system of New Albany formed a foundation that has given me multiple incredible opportunities to this point in my life,” Dees stated. “If I can help to give others that same foundation that will lead them to achieve greater things than they ever thought possible it will be worth it. I choose to serve because being on the board is an opportunity to give back to a place that has given me the opportunity to achieve so much.”
It is very rewarding for Dees when he hears of student accomplishments and sees the excitement in students. “I can’t tell you the pride I feel when I hear that one of our students has gotten a great academic scholarship, or won an award at a competition, or been chosen to represent our district at a state or national meeting.”
“We are very fortunate to have a New Albany success story such as Dr. Dees serving on the Board of Trustees,” said Cathy McClinton, School Board member. “It is a privilege to serve with someone as dedicated and knowledgeable as Dr. Dees.”
McClinton continued, “He leads the Board in our continued effort to assure that all of our students graduate with the ability to succeed.”
Of course, Dees wants the schools to continue moving forward and wants to see several things accomplished during the next year. He says the board will do the first major revision of the strategic plan. This is the document that will guide the board for the next several years.
“The current plan was created during my first year on the board and has served us well,” he said. “I think we are more focused on student achievement, more consistent with our discipline, and developing a stronger extracurricular program.”
Dees wants the school board to continue to look at the School of Career and Technical Education to make sure that the school is preparing all students for the workforce. He also wants to continue to review the curriculum throughout the middle and high schools to make sure that students are being prepared to handle the rigor of college course work.
“While people in the community will hear that we are trying to improve our ACT scores and we are, our ultimate goal is to make sure that students are ready to handle the thinking and reasoning skills that are required at the college level. ACT just happens to be an excellent frame work to make this happen,” Dees explained.
“We appreciate Dr. Dees serving on the school board and the work he has already accomplished,” Dr. Charles Garrett, Superintendent said. “He is truly committed in preparing our students for college and the work force.”