Richmond County schools Superintendent Dana Bedden has confirmed his interest in a similar position in Irving, Texas.
"Recently, I was recruited for an opportunity in Texas," Bedden said in an e-mail tonight. "Given the advice of my counsel and acting in the best interest of myself and my family, I responded and submitted my credentials in January. As part of the selection process, Texas school officials conducted a site visit at the RCSS this past week.
"I have received no offers nor made any decisions regarding my future as Superintendent."
Although Bedden's e-mail does not mention Irving specifically, he said in an education blog on The Dallas Morning News Web site today that he had applied for the superintendent's job there and that officials from the Irving district visited Augusta on Monday.
"I was recruited as a candidate," the blog quoted him saying. "They're doing their due diligence to make a decision, and that's what's going on."
Bedden has been in Tempe, Ariz., this week attending an education conference. Although officials with the Irving Independent School District have refused to provide a list of candidates for their superintendent job until a "lone finalist" is named at a Thursday night meeting, The Morning News blog says that acting Superintendent Neil Dugger might also be in the running.
As for the Irving officials' visit to Augusta Monday, three Richmond County school board members confirmed today that they had met with three Irving board members Monday to discuss Bedden.
"We were truthful and answered their questions, but we did say we'd like to keep him ourselves," said board member Helen Minchew.
Minchew said three school board members from Irving attended the meeting, and she said Bedden had asked her to be present. Board members Barbara Pulliam and Jack Padgett also said today that they were at the meeting. Board president Marion Barnes was also present, Minchew said.
The Irving Independent School Distict in suburban Dallas has been looking for a new superintendent since last year when their leader retired. The district's board of trustees will have a called meeting Thursday night to name its choice.