Danville Schools looks within for next superintendent
Published 10:06 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023
The Danville Independent Schools Board of Education looked within to find the district’s new superintendent. Ron Ballard, the district’s chief of operations, will be the next superintendent of schools. With a four-year contract offered and signed, Ballard will begin his new role on Jan. 1.
He has an extensive background with the Danville Schools and is a Danville High School graduate. His background with the DISD began as a fifth grader at Jennie Rogers Elementary School. In a professional capacity, prior to his current position, he was the district’s director of pupil personnel and support services for five years, principal at Toliver Elementary School for four years and a teacher at both Toliver and Hogsett Elementary Schools.
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He has also served as a commander for the National Guard, and as a teacher for both Salisbury Elementary and Robert B. Jolicoeur schools in New Hampshire.
He has experience managing personnel, training and operations for staff in the DISD; is skilled in sign language; has experience managing budgets, operations and resources at state, district and school levels; has worked with diverse populations among multiple settings; and has more than 30 years of leadership experience across public school, government and private sector settings. During his time as principal at Toliver, he led the school through a renovation and construction project while the school improved performance on the state assessment each year.
Through his roles as DPP, principal of Anchor Academy and chief of operations for the district, he is responsible for removing barriers for the district’s most at-risk students and families. This experience has given him knowledge of families’ needs, as well as the resources available to them in the district and wider community.
He has led the creation and design of community partnerships with Danville Pediatrics, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center and local mental health providers to offer wrap-around care for students, including through the Scott-Goodwin Health Clinic and the district wellness counselor position.
In 2020, he redesigned the educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12 by creating the Anchor Academy as a self-contained alternative school with a performance-based online nonattendance option. Anchor Academy has been used as an example for other districts because of its innovative model.
Some areas Ballard wants to strengthen going forward include employee retention, student recruitment, more connection between schools and departments, celebrating and maintaining the DISD’s successes, continuing to foster community partnerships and improving student transition between schools.