ALBANY, Ga. -- For months, Dougherty County School System Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely promised that changes were on the horizon for the District. Monday night, he and the School Board delivered on that promise.
In a rare unanimous vote, the seven board members accepted the retirements of four principals and the placement of new principals at eight other schools, including three of the district’s four high schools.
In total, 12 of the District’s 24 schools and the South Georgia Regional Achievement center will have new principals in place for the 2013-14 school year, which starts in August.
“I think this will be a positive change for our school system in that we will have people in administrative positions with new ideas and focus,” Board Chair Carol Tharin said Tuesday. “It shows the system is headed in the right direction and that our employees will be held accountable.”
Board Vice Chairman James Bush said the decision for the changes was best for the system’s nearly 16,000 students.
“There are times we’ve all made bad decisions, and this board is no different in that regard. Now we have a chance to clean things up,” Bush said. “This is all about making sure our kids can read, write and talk, and the final measurement is in performance.
“The 7-0 vote is indicative of the board’s unanimity on this issue.”
The sweeping moves leave the system looking for principals at Dougherty and Monroe high schools; Albany Middle, Lincoln Magnet, M.L. King, Morningside elementary schools and the
South Georgia RAC.
Out-of-town job offers are pending for the Albany High and Dougherty High and Albany Middle school positions. The DCSS is currently conducting interviews for the elementary school positions.
Four principals, David Adams at M.L. King, Sheryl Holmes at Lincoln, Jackie Frazier at Magnolia and David Walker at Morningside, will retire at the end of the school year, which concludes June 30.
The board also accepted the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Goseer. Mosley said he had no plans to replace Goseer, leaving that position open for a permanent superintendent to fill.
Mosely did not recommend any terminations Monday, which leaves the future of eight former principals in limbo. The superintendent said that, barring any more retirements, Angela Schumate (Albany High), Jose Roquemore (Dougherty), Valerie Thomas (Monroe), Horace Reid (Albany Middle), Sammie Pringle (Robert Cross), Pat Victor (Alice Coachman), Gail Solomon (Turner) and John I. Davis (South GA RAC) would be reassigned within the system.
The board's 7-0 vote is unusual in that past personnel decisions have been fractured, often along racial lines. Tharin said the board's unanimity Monday also sent a message.
"I think the 7-0 vote indicates there is a different atmosphere on this School Board," she said. "We were dedicated to working together and making the changes needed to be made for the benefit of our children.
"For once, we are in one accord."
"I've been pleased to work with our new board members," Bush said. "We have all worked very hard to get along and work together, and I think we owe a vote of thanks to (District 1 Board member) Robert Youngblood."