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BoE must find new superintendent

Superintendent resigns

POSTED: March 31, 2007 5:13 a.m.
The Liberty County Board of Education is looking a new school superintendent.
The board accepted Dr. Steve Wilmoth’s resignation Monday during an unscheduled called meeting.
“It’s time for a change and new leadership,” Wilmoth gave as reasons for his decision. “We’ve taken Liberty County schools to new levels and become a premier school district with the technology and facilities that draw visitors from around the state. We’ve done what the community asked us to do — raise test scores and graduation rates.”
Board Chairman Lily H. Baker said the board was not taken by surprise.
“I think it’s in the best interest of all stakeholders in the community. The board, the teachers, the administrators, the parents and the students,” she said.
Wilmoth, an Oklahoma native, was named Liberty County school superintendent in July 2001 after heading two smaller systems in Oklahoma.
In the past year he has made two attempts to leave Liberty County.
In February 2006, he applied for a job with the Hamilton County school system in Tennessee.
He was selected as one of three finalists for the superintendent’s position, but later withdrew his name saying he was “deeply troubled by the apparent discontent by individuals in the community about the selection process and the candidates.”
In November 2006, Wilmoth applied for the top job in the Columbia County school system just outside of Augusta. He lost his bid when the board promoted its assistant superintendent.
Wilmoth will remain at his current post until his contract ends in June. He has not accepted a position with another school system, but “has some options,” he said.
Baker said the board would start the process of finding a superintendent very soon.
“Hopefully it won’t take us long, but we’re not going to rush,” she said.  
In the past, the board has used an outside firm to perform the search for school superintendent but the board has not decided whether to continue the practice.
As a matter of procedure, the board has decided to evaluate the superintendent twice a year instead of annually, the chairman said.
“That way we’ll give our superintendent an opportunity and chance to comply with what we’re asking,” she said.  
Baker would not comment about Wilmoth’s evaluations, saying the law stipulates he and the board have to agree to the release of the information.
With the current school term coming to an end, the board is optimistic they can fill the post “with another school superintendent who shares the same vision the board has for our school system,” and “who can move this school system to become a state-of-the-art school system which we know it can be,” Baker said.

Liberty County schools’ stats
• 12,000 students
• $110 million annual budget
• 1,800 employees.

Superintendent’s salary
Gross income: $160,000
 

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