Dougherty School Board going by the book on selection process

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL: The board is expected to name a new superintendent of schools at a meeting Monday

When the Dougherty County Board of Education meets Monday morning, it is expected to name a new permanent superintendent to head up the Dougherty County School System. When that vote takes place, the board will have completed a selection process that from all appearances was conducted by the book.

And that is welcome progress.

When the School Board short-circuited its selection process in 2010, we were the most vocal critics of that action. We joined with other media in Albany to sue the School Board to require it to abide by Georgia Open Records and Open Meetings laws. Old-fashioned reporting was the only thing that enabled Dougherty County residents to see who the board had considered, giving residents some context by which to judge the selection.

When a government agency does something wrong or falls short of doing its job correctly, a newspaper should take it to task. Likewise, when a government board follows the process it lays out, follows the laws and regulations governing its work and makes a well-reasoned decision, that should be noted.

That was the case as the School Board whittled its list of candidates to a pair of finalists — David “Butch” Mosely, who has served ably as interim superintendent since taking the reins in January, and Samuel DePaul, currently superintendent of schools down the road in Colquitt County.

This time, there has been no rush. Residents have had plenty to time to consider the two choices, and School Board members have had enough time to review their respective strengths and weaknesses. In short, whichever candidate is selected Monday, there should be no surprises down the road in regard to his ability to serve as the system’s top administrator.

Most of all, the School Board is demonstrating to the 16,000 students who attend the Dougherty County School System a living civics lesson on how local government should function.

To that end, we commend the members of the School Board for doing things the right way with this selection process. After the problems the system has endured over the past few years, there’s a sense that the system is rebounding these days. This is another example of that.

The focus of the School Board seems to be on the students and on selecting a school chief who is capable of directing the system in a direction to improve students’ performances and, by extension, their post-graduation opportunities.

Welcome progress indeed.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board