Warm First Week Welcome

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Brookhaven School District Superintendent Dr. LisaKarmacharya was faced with a lot of the same challenges and joysduring her first week as acting superintendent as students arefaced with in August. However, the four-day work week that beganTuesday proved to be memorable for the newest addition to thePanther family.

“Day one was amazing,” said Karmcharya. “The sun was shining,the children were happy, the teachers were teaching and the kidswere learning.”

While a small amount of rain Friday may have dampened the viewfrom school windows, the week proved to be a warm welcome forKarmacharya as she learned the ins and outs throughout thedistrict.

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“I have enjoyed every single day. I have met lots and lots ofpeople and learned new faces,” she said. “I don’t think I couldhave asked for a smoother transition for the first week as a newsuperintendent.”

Aside from learning her way around area school buildings,Karmacharya met with administration, faculty and staff during herfirst week at work. She also read and conversed with students,jumped on a school bus to say “hello,” sat down with some highschool students at lunch and threw out the ceremonial first pitchof the BHS Panthers’ baseball season alongside formerSuperintendent Lea Barrett.

“I got to be with the kids for the first time in a long time,and for me that’s what it’s all about,” said Karmacharya. “It’s notabout the grown-ups.”

One aspect of the schools that stuck out for Karmacharya duringher first four days was how dedicated and committed the teacherswere.

“At every single school, it was so evident to me that theteachers loved what they were doing and that they were a part ofthis unbelievable Ole Brook team,” she said. “It seems to me thateverybody accepts the roles and responsibilities that they have andthey are giving it 110 percent every single day.”

Karmacharya said things have been easy thus far and she did notforesee any major obstacles in the future. She mentioned if therewere to be anything difficult during her first week, it would beleaving her family in Hattiesburg for the time being.

“This district has so many good things in place,” she said. “Iwas blessed to get this position and I am honored to serve theBrookhaven School District.”

One of the most memorable moments for Karmacharya may have beenwhen a young male student was able to correctly spell all fivesyllables of her last name.

“He used his phonics,” Karmacharya said. “He sounded itout.”

Karmacharya, who will make $110,000 a year, was announced as thenew superintendent in mid-January. Barrett announced her retirementin August, but will remain as a school district employee for theremainder of March.

“Lea has been incredibly supportive and has been a person I cancount on if I need someone,” said Karmacharya. “I appreciate herwillingness to stay (during the transition).”