Archive for Thursday, March 9, 2006

Aldridge familiar with Baldwin district

March 9, 2006

Even before her visit to Baldwin City to interview for the superintendent job opening last Wednesday, candidate Linda Aldridge was familiar with the Baldwin School District and the town.

"My husband and I have come over several times, since we live fairly close," said Aldridge, who lives in Stillwell. "We have toured through here and we like the town a lot. I like the presence of Baker University. The way the town still has that small-town feel to it, it's very much a community, and we like that."

Aldridge was the first of four applicants to visit Baldwin this past week about the superintendent position, which will be vacated when Supt. James White retires at the end of this year.

Aldridge followed the same routine as previous candidates during her visit. She met with district personnel, toured the buildings and was interviewed by the Baldwin Board of Education.

"I have had a fantastic day," Aldridge said. "When you think about it, I get to spend an entire day touring schools, talking with educators, watching kids and when I talk, everyone seems interested. It's been a wonderful day."

During her tour of the schools, Aldridge noticed how well the teachers and students interacted.

"I look for the interaction between the adults and the children," Aldridge said. "What I saw was a great deal of hands-on learning activities. I saw adults interacting with kids in a very caring way. Obviously, the relationships that develop between the staff and the students here are strong. It's apparent in every single school I visited."

The buildings also caught her attention.

"I thought the facilities look great," Aldridge said. "The junior high and the high school are well organized. You could see things were set up for good supervision as well as good learning. The schools were set up so you could easily access the facility as a community member."

Aldridge was interested in the superintendent opening in Baldwin because the community offers many positive things for her and her family.

"I'm looking for a home, not only in terms of my professional needs, but I'm looking for a home for my children and my family," Aldridge said. "I conducted a very narrow search on where we would want to relocate ourselves. We were looking for the right kind of community to raise a family and the right kind of community that is very supportive of education. Baldwin City fits that to a 'T'."

Aldridge has two children, Kyle (eighth grade) and Kerry (third grade).

Aldridge grew up in Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, she accepted her first teaching job in Garden City, where she taught special education.

Then she taught at McClouth and De Soto while working on another degree at the University of Kansas. She earned a doctorate in Education and a Master of Science in Education from KU.

At age 26, Aldridge was hired as a middle school/elementary school principal at Jefferson County North. Then she became an elementary school principal in Leavenworth for seven years, before becoming the assistant superintendent.

She was also director of curriculum at Blue Valley for one year. After taking a year off, Aldridge has been working several different jobs in the education field this year.

The school board hopes to make a decision on its choice for superintendent very soon. The Signal will update this story as information becomes available on its Web site, www.baldwincity.com.

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