By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY -- Martin County's new superintendent of schools is off to a running start in her new role.
Days after she was officially sworn in on Nov. 20, Laurie Gaylord was meeting with colleagues from around the state to discuss the Common Core state standards for English/language arts and mathematics, which the Florida Department of Education adopted in 2010.
As head of the local district, Ms. Gaylord will lead the implementation of the new standards and the creation of end-of-course exams required under the new system, which is set for full deployment by 2014.
"For me I'm excited to just get in, roll up my sleeves and really be able to focus on success for all students," she said.
The new standards replace the Sunshine State standards.
Implementing the standards will lead to new expenses for the district, and a need to ensure teachers have adequate support during the process.
"We do more with less every year," Ms. Gaylord said. "I want to make sure to get a good read on where we are financially and to be able to move forward."
Ms. Gaylord, a longtime school board member, represented District 3 and served on the school board for 10 years.
She won the race for superintendent during the Republican primary last August, when she got 62 percent of the vote.
Her victory ousted Nancy Kline, who left office Nov. 20, having served four years as superintendent.
In a school district rife with political infighting, the new superintendent said one of her main goals is to "improve the work climate."
"There has been room for improvement," she said, adding that the goal is to focus on student success.
"I'm looking forward from now on. I'm not looking backward."
When she was sworn in last month, Ms. Gaylord suggested she wanted to foster cooperation.
"My first order of business this morning was removing the electronic lock from the superintendent's office," she said in a statement released at that time. "I want to have an open-door policy and have the public feel welcome visiting."