For the second consecutive year, Collierville Schools Superintendent John Aitken has been voted the Collierville Independent Readers’ Choice Man of the Year.
Mostly known as Mr. A, Aitken has worked in education for 38 years and is in his fourth year as superintendent of Collierville Schools.
He taught in Arkansas before teaching and coaching at Collierville High School. He was both assistant principal and principal at Houston High before working at Shelby County Schools, where he was first an assistant superintendent for one year and then superintendent for four before his current position with Collierville Schools.
The Independent recently caught up with Mr. A to ask him about the new $94-million high school, which is scheduled to open next year, and other matters.
Q) How many times a week do you visit the site for the new high school? I’m mostly joking but does it almost feel like another child to you?
A) I visit at least once a week and drive by and through the site most everyday. Yes, and a demanding child also!
Q) I’ve read that you’re a huge fan of college sports. If you could coach one college sport what would it be and why?
A) College basketball – I played small college basketball and would love to experience a Final Four as a coach!
Q) What is the best advice you’ve given as a father? As an educator?
A) Father – Do what’s right! All the time! Educator – Treat all people with respect and do everything with class.
Q) Why is Collierville’s school district so successful?
A) Great kids, great teachers, great administrators and great parent support. Dedicated Board of Education and supportive town government.
Q) Where, if anywhere, can the district improve?
A) We always have room for improvement. One of our main focus areas moving forward is providing more opportunities for all students to earn post secondary credit and certifications while still in high school.
Q) Apart from sheer size, what is different about being the SCS superintendent and the Collierville Schools superintendent?
A) More opportunities and time to interact with students/staff at our schools.
Q) Your job has to be all-consuming. How do you find time to unplug and unwind, or can you?
A) My two-year-old twin grand babies keep me refreshed and grounded. So, spending time with them reminds me of the important things in life!