Many women are teachers. More than a fair share are principals. But superintendents? Not so many. A study by the U.S. Department of Education counted 1,984 women superintendents in the nation out of 13,728. About 14%.
But at Cass County's Linden-Kildare Independent School District, women more than hold their own in the leadership ranks. L-KISD is among a small number of districts that not only have a woman as superintendent, but also exclusively women as principals.
After five years as a high school principal, Keri Winters has served as superintendent for three years.
The district's high school principal is Shekita Martin, a Linden-Kildare alumna. The junior high principal is Rebecca Owen, who moved here from Dublin, Ireland, three years ago. The elementary principal for the last two years has been Carolyn Oliver.
"I did not seek out to only hire women, they were just the best applicant for the positions at the time," Keri said.
At L-KISD, she is known for stepping up her game when it is needed.
"Keri is just wonderful," said culinary arts instructor and cafeteria manager Janet Sewell. "She handles everything so professionally."
Keri said one of her favorite Bible verses is James 1: 2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."
Her husband, Lonny, is a financial adviser in nearby Atlanta. They have two elementary-age children. In her spare time, Keri plays rhythm guitar and sings lead in a band called — Sparetime.
Still, in the greater scheme, she is mostly excited about the improvements being made in her schools.
"This district is on the track to become great," Keri said. "Great things are coming."