LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It looks and sounds like a church service.

But sitting in the pews, a very special guest.

Interim superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio started his Jefferson County Public Schools teaching career 20 years ago at Shawnee High School. Now he's returning to west Louisville promising parents to serve their children.

“Whatever time period it is that I'm superintendent, whether it be six months, nine months, or several years, I will give everything I have to the kids and the families of Jefferson County,” Dr. Pollio said.

Dr. Pollio acknowledges a major nationwide achievement gap that exists also in JCPS, separating white, privileged kids from minority kids in poverty. But he said the district would work to fix those gaps.

“We have to find ways to get our experienced and high-quality teachers in our schools where we have high concentrations of poverty,” he said.

A recent hot topic, the student assignment plan. Something Dr. Pollio says the district and communities will continue to work on that plan for the next year to year and a half.

“I do not believe it is an issue for our state legislature to decide. I don't believe that politicians that are all out in the state of Kentucky should be telling people in Jefferson County where their students should be going to school,” Dr. Pollio said.

Parents and community leaders took time to ask questions--creating an open discussion that left parents satisfied.

“It lets me know that not only do I care but somebody else cares that's in the school system,” Lanette Cooper, a parent said.

On Monday, Dr. Pollio met with state leaders and addressed his goals and concerns about the student assignment plan. It hasn't been reviewed in 10 years. And he says he hopes that students, teachers and parents will be able to decide how to fix that plan to better serve our communities, instead of the state stepping in.