TUNICA, Miss. (FOX13) -Tunica County SchoolsSuperintendent Steven Chandler admits his district has a mountain to climb.
His district was failing when he took over two years ago, and still is, but Superintendent Chandler says he intends on taking his district from a 50-percent graduation rate to 85-percent in just five short years.
Ambitious and lofty goals for the youngest schoolsuperintendent in the United States, who is only 29.
"I think it may be the idea of a 26-year-old running a district with a $35 million operation," Superintendent Chandler said. "The idea is just absurd."
Chandler took office in 2012 at the age of 26. Two years later he is still the youngest school superintendent in the country.
"Imagine this: I graduated from high school in 2003 and in 2012 I am superintendent where I graduated from high school," he said.
Chandler said some of his former teachers and coaches embraced his youthful return to leadership. Some not so much, especially when he started letting staff go. He says his detractors say he has failed because two years after taking office, the district still has a failing grade.
He is undeterred.
"They will say nothing has changed, and I guess my two questions would be first, what did you want to see change?, and then two, when is the last time you came and evaluated it?," Chandler said.