Roberson's return date still unknown

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More than three months after Richmond County school Superintendent Frank Roberson underwent brain surgery, it is still unclear when he will be able to return to work.

Superintendent Frank Roberson underwent surgery to relieve brain swelling and pressure in February.
Superintendent Frank Roberson underwent surgery to relieve brain swelling and pressure in February.

The family has not released an update since April 20, when in a written statement Roberson said he was at Walton Rehabilitation Center "experiencing a speedy recovery."

On Monday, Acting Superintendent James Whitson said the school system has not been given an official update on Roberson's condition.

Roberson has had no involvement in any school system business, including the current budget planning for the 2011-12 school year, as he remains on disability leave, Whitson said. Students will return to start the new school year Aug. 8.

"It's my impression (Roberson) plans to return, it's just a matter of when his doctor says he can return," Whitson said. "I have not personally talked to Dr. Roberson about his health and when he plans to return."

Whitson said he did, however, receive a brief personal phone call from Roberson about a month ago.

During their conversation, Roberson praised the work the school system staff has done in his absence.

"He just wanted me to hear how positively he felt about everybody and how appreciative he was of everyone who has really tried to close the void of his not being there, and there is a void when he's not there," Whitson said.

Roberson, 55, has been under medical care since Feb. 22, when he first started experiencing complications from an arteriovenous malformation, which is an abnormal clustering of blood vessels in the brain.

He had surgery to relieve brain swelling and pressure Feb. 24 and was transferred to Walton Rehab for treatment April 13.

The Aiken County native was hired in August to be Richmond County's superintendent, succeeding Dana Bedden, who had taken a job leading the school district in Irving, Texas.

Since Roberson's illness, Whitson has taken over as acting superintendent. Whitson is now leading the school system's budgeting, which must be completed by June 30.

School board President Alex Howard said that although board members are eager for Roberson's return, they, too, have received no recent updates.

"We're going to welcome him back, but I haven't heard anything of when that will be," Howard said.

In the meantime, Whitson and the board have had to deal with state funding cuts to the Georgia pre-kindergarten program, which has led the district to close nine pre-K locations next school year and prompted 41 of the system's 47 pre-K teachers to request transfers out of the program.. The district also has to make cuts to balance an upcoming budget that faces a $17 million revenue shortfall.

They are doing it all with Roberson in mind, Whitson said.

"I think everyone in our office has tried to do the best they can, and people have really been working hard," Whitson said. "Some of that, I feel, is that no one wants to be the one to let the big man down."

Comments (11) Add comment
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charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 06/06/11 - 09:22 pm
0
0
Hope he recovers, quickly.

Hope he recovers, quickly. But being a superintendent will be too stressful for the condition that he has and might lead to more, serious brain abnormalities or death. In my humble opinion, it will be best for him to hang it up and let the RCBOE start advertising his position, ASAP.

Jason Wermers
3
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Jason Wermers 06/06/11 - 09:47 pm
0
0
In response to your comment,

In response to your comment, charliemanson, it should be noted that this AVM was present in Dr. Roberson since he was born. It just wasn't discovered until there was brain hemorrhaging and swelling in February, leading to the emergency surgery.

storiesihaveread
358
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storiesihaveread 06/06/11 - 11:03 pm
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0
Keep his job open. I think it

Keep his job open. I think it will be best for RC and this is coming from a person that lives in CC. Just my 2 cents worth!!

rainingoranges
0
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rainingoranges 06/07/11 - 06:20 am
0
0
Honestly, the comments here

Honestly, the comments here disgust me. Someone has a sudden, previously unknown illness? Kick him out! Might as well fire Gabrielle Giffords too. Or Tim Johnson. God forbid anyone who serves the public have fallible human bodies. Apparently here in Augusta, these people are reasonable subjects for the mob to turn on.

Rather
56
Points
Rather 06/07/11 - 07:20 am
0
0
Retire him and get a

Retire him and get a replacement. Just the same as is done with any other employee. He is likely to have a valuable severance package. We need a good person in his place that is healthy enough to WORK. It is an important job, not a charity.

iLove
626
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iLove 06/07/11 - 08:26 am
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Rather: Please o
Unpublished

Rather: Please o please...

Dr. Roberson....RCBOE IS WAITING ON YOU! See you in the fall, so that you may continue the GREAT job you were doing!

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 06/07/11 - 08:32 am
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0
I think God has placed this

I think God has placed this man in life for the benefit of all us. He will recover. He is a asset to RCBOE and the children he represents.

Reverie
54
Points
Reverie 06/07/11 - 08:33 am
0
0
The vision, leadership, and

The vision, leadership, and policy recommendations that the RCSS superintendent puts forth effects our people and the economy in a major way. Huge budget and tax issues. One of our largest local employers. Thousands of our children's futures at stake. We need a status for his return to work. Notice how the good ole boy system moves along quietly without our newest leader to check them?

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/07/11 - 08:45 am
0
0
Look at this objectively.

Look at this objectively. Only six months after he was hired, Dr. Roberson underwent brain surgery. After conflicting initial reports "the family has not released an update since April 20". "Acting Superintendent James Whitson said the school system has not been given an official update on Roberson's condition" and "School board President Alex Howard said that although board members are eager for Roberson's return, they, too, have received no recent updates". Dr. Roberson "has had no involvement in any school system business" and "it is still unclear when he will be able to return to work". I have compassion, but how long can RCBE afford to keep Dr. Roberson on disability leave?

Reverie
54
Points
Reverie 06/07/11 - 08:55 am
0
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The school system is being

The school system is being driven by permanent middle management employees. These are the same employees who were trained by the last two superintendents. Who knows what their agenda is?

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/07/11 - 02:09 pm
0
0
nevermind
Unpublished

nevermind

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/07/11 - 04:53 pm
0
0
BEST WISHES to Dr. Roberson

BEST WISHES to Dr. Roberson for a complete recovery and for an early return to the RCSS superintendency.

stupid
0
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stupid 06/13/11 - 11:00 pm
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Reverie -You are so right who

Reverie -You are so right who knows what the agenda is/ of Whitson and Howard!! The taxpayers should get a grip and clean house within the downtown building of rcss (start with some cabinet members). A lot of taxpayers money is being wasted from within so the teachers are enabled with insufficient funds plus nine furlough days. If Whitson and others would leave there would be more money for rcss. Roberson deserves his recovery time since he probably found out some underlying details of the $19 million dollar hole Richmond County has in the system. Best wishes for a complete recovery.

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