“But, I’m not Harold Hill!”
I let David Lewis know that I was pleased that he is a “music man.”
To which he replied, “I am, but I’m not Harold Hill.”
Harold Hill, as you probably know, was the music con man in the modern Broadway and Hollywood classic musical, “The Music Man.”
Lewis, who was the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for Polk County School District in Florida, is the finalist for the job MCSD School Superintendent. After the public hearing time lapses, the MCSD School Board is expected to hire him.
What inspired me about the pick is his music education background. Before he worked his way up as middle and high school principal, and Associate Superintendent in Polk County, he was Director of Bands.
Being a member of the late Bob Barr’s original Jordan Vocational High School Red Jacket Band, I am familiar with what a music man can do for disadvantaged students. The legendary, award-winning band director turned around a lot of lives, inspiring teenagers to not only become accomplished musicians, but become successful and useful contributors to their communities.
David Lewis appears to have the same talents as an education administrator. School Board Chair Rob Varner said, for instance, his school district has had “seven consecutive years of increased graduation rates during tenure as Senior Director of High Schools and Associate Superintendent.”
And he still has a love for school music, with his district being the 2013 recipient of “Best Communties for Music Education from the National Association of Music Merchants.”
Increasing the academic scores for Title I students, those who receive federal government financial assistance, is a huge challenge for him. We have a lot of those in Muscogee County. It appears he has had a great deal of success in that area in Polk County. So that is encouraging.
I told him that he came to the right place because Columbus is a great town for school bands, or, at least, it was. He said, “And it will be again.”
I replied, “That’s great!” Indeed it is.