Construction continues Jan. 31, 2013 at the new Lee County Elementary School on Robert B. Lee Drive and Lover's Lane Road. (Outlook 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. — When Butch Mosely became the Dougherty County School system’s Interim Superintendent in January, he knew exactly what he was walking into.
He inherited a school system roiling in turmoil from a CRCT cheating scandal, general dysfunction at the administrative level and the State Department of Education placing the district on “High Risk” status.
Mosely, who was hired until a permanent replacement for former superintendent Joshua Murfree is found, has one goal in 2013 — get an ailing system back on its feet.
“I’ve been in every elementary school in the system and I have found teaching going on. The buildings are clean and neat, and we appear to be in good shape there,” Mosely said. “I plan on focusing in our middle schools and three high schools in particular — Albany, Monroe and Dougherty.
“We need to bring in some real strong assistant principals to shape up discipline in those three schools where a limited number of students are making for a difficult learning environment.”
Mosely said lifting the morale of system employees is another goal.
“The vast majority of Dougherty County School System employees are excellent,” Mosely said. “But they are hungry and looking for leadership. “I’d like to assure people that my job is not to see how many people I can run off, but to fix the problems we are currently facing.”
Other goals are to improve security and safety in the system’s 26 schools.
“We need to take a look at putting some metal detectors in our schools, or at least issue those metal detecting wands,” Mosely said.
Mosely said he also wants to provide good governance for the School board, which he said “are the leaders of the school district — both good and bad.”
The superintendent added he wants to improve test scores and the district’s relationship with the State Department of Education.
He then took aim at the system’s administration.
“Let’s face facts, the majority of the system’s problems originated in this building,” Mosely said. “And I will deal with these problems head on.”
As far as system infrastructure goes, Monroe High School will undergo a $21 million Phase II renovation this year. The plans include work on the school’s band and chorus rooms and major renovations to the gymnasium, among other improvements.
The $21 million SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) project is the largest single renovation in DCSS history.
In Lee County, the Trojans are looking forward to opening a new elementary school in August, which will also give the county the benefit of two middle schools — Lee County East and Lee County West.
“We’re going to have to rezone, but those two middle schools mean if you live in the western part of the county, the students will go West, if the student lives in the East they’ll go East,” said Lee County Supt. Larry Walters. “The new elementary school is 75 percent complete and we’ve got a tentative move in date of June. We are on schedule to open in August for the upcoming school year.”
Walters said the system is looking to upgrade its advance placement classes.
“Our AP classes continue to grow, and because enrollment is up in those classes we will have a lot more honors graduates than ever before,” Walters said. “We’ll also continue to see good test scores because of high-quality students and teachers.”