Jefferson City superintendent settling into new surroundings

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JEFFERSON CITY - The new superintendent for the Jefferson City School District said he is settling into his new position. Thursday was his ninth day on the job, but Larry Linthacum feels comfortable in his new surroundings.

The Board of Education voted in December to make Linthacum the new superintendent. He formerly served as superintendent of the Maryville R-II School District.

He said he and his family have felt very welcomed by everyone they've met so far. He said he went to the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta last week with other administrators and board members.

Linthacum said student learning is one of his top priorities for his time in Jefferson City. 

"Our three main principles are that we're going to ensure that kids are learning, ensure that we're partnering with the community and all stakeholders and ensuring we're being a good steward of our partons' money," Linthacum said.

Overcrowding has been an issue in the past, but Jefferson City residents voted down a tax levy and bond increase in 2013 that supporters said would've helped fund a new high school and elementary school. Linthacum said he wants to gather new enrollment numbers, so he can determine for himself whether overcrowding is still an issue.

"I'm getting enrollment right now from our billing administrators and just to see what are the numbers and see the average class sizes and so forth," Linthacum said. "And then from there determine what the needs are and if it is overcrowding, if it's the alignment of things. There are just a lot of things we've got to look at."

He said he understands facilities are important to children's learning, but wants to make sure the issues are clear before making a plan. He said he wants to make sure to communicate with the public before deciding anything.