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Interim chief Mosely thriving in hired gunslinger role

Opinion Column

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

I’m a cowboy, I got the night on my side. I’m wanted ...

— Bon Jovi

It doesn’t take a particularly vivid imagination to conjure up an image of Butch Mosely, 10-gallon cowboy hat pulled low over his eyes, riding into town on his trusty steed, his steely-eyed gaze set, unwavering, as he prepares to clean up whatever mess has sprung up with the local school system.

Mosely’s been such a troubleshooter — a gunslinger for hire, if you will — for the last several years, wearing the “interim” tag here and there for a few weeks or months, however long the mission takes, interrupting his retirement long enough to try and right listing school system ships before they crash completely and sink into oblivion.

The lifetime educator, whose old-school father taught him one of life’s indelible lessons when he allowed his son to temporarily step away from his pursuit of higher education just long enough to realize that there are a lot worse things than sitting in a classroom, has brought that same big-picture approach to the Dougherty County School System as he tries to help it overcome enough plagues and boils to make Job sympathetic.

As most “new sheriffs in town” are, Mosely’s being approached warily by the rank and file in the school system, survival mode dictating an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality, especially among those who know they’d have a tough time justifying their continued employment if close scrutiny ever became the order of the day. In a system that has grown precariously top-heavy — on a level that would shame Dolly Parton — Mosely has already had an opportunity to spread a little bit of that old fear of God ... and he’s just getting started.

A system as close to rock-bottom as Dougherty’s, one former school official told me recently, needs someone with no close ties to system personnel — from the janitorial staff to the classroom educators to the various schools’ administrators all the way up to the Pine Avenue administration building — who has the guts to come in and make tough decisions. Here’s hoping that’s what the system’s School Board was counting on when it hired Mosely.

Because that’s what they got.

For others in the community, though, who like me have the luxury of observing the goings-on of the system from the outside in — those of us who don’t have to worry that the gunslinger might have to draw down on us if he finds it necessary — Mosely has made a different mark. Spend a little time with him — and, trust me, it doesn’t take much — and you’ll quickly discover one of the most congenial and genuine individuals you’ve ever met.

There’s a whole lot to be said for a guy who’s confident enough in his abilities and comfortable enough in his own skin to forego pretension on even a minimal level. No matter what title you choose to stick on your name — doctor, lawyer, politician, titan of industry — bet your bottom dollar that it’s not going to carry a lot of weight with Mosely, who has been involved in his life’s work for more than 36 years and also is a Decatur County commissioner. You get the feeling in his presence that when he spends time with anyone, he’d like to hand out a card that says, “Let’s cut through the bull. You just be you, because I’m definitely going to be me.”

He’s still not quite to the outer edges of his honeymoon period in Dougherty County, but the scuttlebutt all around the community is that Mosely is doing a pretty terrific job in addressing the issues that he waded into. He’s already gotten some of the federal funds that were being held up for past incompetencies released, and he’s made personnel changes that everyone knew were needed, but that no one made in the past for fear of drawing the ire of this group or that.

Of course, that’s a lot easier to do when you’re a hired gun.

He’s no doubt heard it before, but there’s already talk of a “let’s keep this guy around” movement. Mosely said during a conversation last week that’s not something he’s interested in. He has one agenda item: Leave the Dougherty County School System in better shape than he found it.

Only a fool would doubt that he’ll do that ... not that he’ll ride out of town and into the sunset caring a whole lot what anyone thinks.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

"In a system that has grown precariously top-heavy — on a level that would shame Dolly Parton — " clear imagery and all the reports are things are going the right way. Sticking to the article's gunslinger scenario there will come a time when all of the "bad" guys are downed. Then the real work starts. A thoughtful educational strategy for the students in the system has to be developed and implemented. Among the many, (including the current work) is the recruiting of capable teachers and aministrators who have academic credentials from educational programs other than ASU and Drive Through U.

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NUMBER1FAN 1 year, 9 months ago

I personally take offense to the ASU comment(especially from someone who does not know how to spell administrators), because not all students of ASU are incompetent teachers, just as not all VSU, GA SOUTHWESTERN, GEORGIA SOUTHERN etc teachers are good educators either. Please judge each individual teacher on their own merit, because I am an ASU grad and I work my tail off and give my students every thing I have daily, so because I have good work ethic and I make sure to try and provide my students the best quality education possible based upon the standards and curriculum designed by the state and system that comment offends me. There are sorry teachers from every where and this has NOTHING to do with where they received their post education, good teachers try to master their craft daily.......and because you work at a school that have all the highest students in the county because they are tested to get in DOES NOT I REPEAT DOES NOT make you a good nor a great or a bad teacher.......a good teacher can take WHATEVER children they are given ( any learning level) and help them to achieve and learn and grow in the classroom as well as, as a person. So I PRAY that the public refrains from criticizing the GOOD teachers that have to go into these classrooms that have children from every walk of life and are on a DIVERSE amount of learning levels and are teaching with little to no resources and with little parental support, but their students are thriving in every area and they too are GIVING THEIR STUDENTS IN DOCO SCHOOL SYSTEM everything they got daily just because they went to ASU. AND FYI there are just as many teachers in DOCO that went to other institutions other than ASU as those who did attend, but we tend to only want to throw daggers at ASU grads for a few reasons and it has nothing to do with what you think the professors are teaching.

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rightasrain 1 year, 9 months ago

ASU students I have had experience with can't spell, definitely cannot perform the most simple math calculations, and CANNOT clearly speak the English language. ASU is just a funnel to jobs its graduates are NOT qualified to have. The State should have let ASC die during the great flood of the last century.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Boy did I hit a sore spot. There are many good things about ASU. You don't need to be so defensive. You are 100% correct that each professional should be assessed on his/her merits. But I also know that math, science and many history teachers from ASU are not fully capable of walking from their class rooms of learning to class rooms of teaching. With the poor support system from downtown they are all too often left floundering because principals do no have time or resources to mend the gaps. My point is and I reiterate, cast a net wider to recruit teachers who come from other academic experiences and most particularly avoid staff who buff up there resume with cardboard university diplomas. (With apologies to the muse of lexicografy for mssp administator.)

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

I will believe it when the bodies start leaving the system to be replaced by individuals that will be there for more than the collection of a pay check. When the tenure is challanged for the incompetants, and successfully terminate them due to their displayed incompetance in handling finances. Then I will believe you have a Gunslinger, not a Bluff in charge.

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Cartman 1 year, 8 months ago

Carlton you know I'm not a bashful critic, but let me congratulate you on using both Job and Dolly Parton in the same piece. Nice!

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