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Bedden eyed by Texas schools

Superintendent's contract in negotiations here

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 A Texas school system has shown interest in Richmond County School Superintendent Dana Bedden for a leadership role, local board member Frank Dolan said Monday.

Dr. Dana Bedden, Richmond County school superintendent  Special
Special
Dr. Dana Bedden, Richmond County school superintendent

Dolan could not confirm which Texas school system is interested in the Richmond County school leader, but he said he had heard that the Dallas suburb of Irving had a superintendent opening.

Dolan said some Richmond County board members had met with Texas officials to discuss Bedden, but he was not part of that meeting. Dolan said he was "befuddled" by the situation.

He said recent contract negotiations between the Richmond County board and Bedden were 99 percent complete and the board was ready to meet to finish the task.

"I have no earthly idea what we're doing now," he said.

He said a closed-door meeting of the school board was scheduled for 3 p.m. today to discuss Bedden's contract.

Phone calls to Bedden's office and cell phone were not returned. He was said to be in Tempe, Ariz., at a professional conference.

School officials in Irving, Texas, a Dallas suburb, said Monday morning that there was a superintendent vacancy but that they did not plan on announcing any candidates until the final choice is made in a called meeting Thursday night.

According to reports in The Dallas Morning News, the Irving Independent School District has been looking for a new superintendent since last year, when longtime Superintendent Jack Singley retired after 21 years in the position. A few months later, according to the newspaper, Singley died, but not before there was a move to have a high school named after him.

The school district is between Dallas and Fort Worth and has about 33,000 students, said Irving ISD trustee Nita Patrick, who refused to comment on any other questions about the superintendent search. According to the Texas Education Agency, Singley was making a base salary of $250,068.

Bedden's base salary is $189,625. His three-year contract is up for renewal in July.

Most board members have said they've been happy with Bedden's performance, and trustee Eloise Curtis said Monday that the board was even considering offering Bedden a larger salary in a new contract. She said she had heard Bedden had been interviewing in other areas, including Florida, but she hadn't heard of the Texas possibility.

Curtis and board members Jimmy Atkins and Alex Howard said they weren't aware of a local meeting involving Texas school officials. Messages left for members Helen Minchew, Barbara Pulliam and Patsy Scott on Monday weren't immediately returned. Member Venus Cain was in University Hospital on Monday and unavailable for comment. Hospital officials would say only that she was in good condition.

Board member Jack Padgett said Monday that he couldn't say whether he was at a meeting with Texas officials.

"All I can say is if somebody is looking for him and wanting him, I want to keep him here," Padgett said. "I would say he's very definitely a hot commodity, and that's one of the reasons I've been urging us to get a contract completed."

Dr. Dana Bedden's 3-year contract is up for renewal in July.

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Nat the Cat
1
Points
Nat the Cat 02/09/10 - 01:43 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden...the greatest

Dr. Bedden...the greatest thing to happen to Richmond County Education since sliced bread! But the nature of the beast keeps the best men looking for the best jobs...I guess that's why Larke stayed here so long. Dr. Bedden is a smart guy....he saw the State and Local budgets declining, the era of furloughs begining, staff cuts, work force reductions, and our Sheriff's inability to deal with the Gang-related crimes in our Schools, all of which makes it next to impossible to maintain the academic accomplishments that he has implemented in Augusta's Schools. If we get lucky and hire another Dr. Bedden, or if the BOE extends his current contract, we will survive. But if another Larke flies in, we are "Dead Ducks" in for a downward spiral. Say "Howdy" to the "Cowboys," for us Doc.

Jonas
0
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Jonas 02/09/10 - 03:33 am
0
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I don't buy it he is trying

I don't buy it he is trying to shake the County down for some more money!!

joekm46
0
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joekm46 02/09/10 - 04:09 am
0
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Jonas, Your probably right,

Jonas, Your probably right, but anyway if your not then I will bid a bye bye to Bedden. Bye Bye!!!!

Riverman1
86916
Points
Riverman1 02/09/10 - 05:43 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden tried to do a good

Dr. Bedden tried to do a good job here, but, make no mistake, he was well paid. The Dallas area has a 17% higher cost of living than Augusta. Some administrators are better at coming into a troubled system, staying a few years and moving on. It seems to be what they are best doing and is the nature of the job for some. One thing that does bother me is the subterfuge he has thrown out while seeking another position. Apparently, he has been trying to find another job for quite a while. The Dallas position will open up fast and we will need to start our own search immediately.

AnotherPerspective
0
Points
AnotherPerspective 02/09/10 - 07:08 am
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0
First of all, most

First of all, most professionals try to climb the ladder. Baseball players move from the minors to the majors, business folks move from the small companies to the larger ones and TV personalities move from small markets to bigger ones. I can't fault him for looking, especially considering the uniformed masses who make baseless accusations against him on here. Secondly, he has a family and a contract that expires in a few months, so he needs to have a back-up plan. Finally, under Dr. Bedden, graduation rates are up, the number of schools making AYP are up and the number of discipline problems are down - all while having the budget slashed year after year.

glassrinkmaker
0
Points
glassrinkmaker 02/09/10 - 07:20 am
0
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Who cares???? A puppy would

Who cares???? A puppy would have been an improvement over the Larke! I've seen nothing so great this cat has done!

Petey Aitchess
0
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Petey Aitchess 02/09/10 - 07:30 am
0
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If Dr Bedden is offered the

If Dr Bedden is offered the job in a major metropolitan area, with a significant increase in sphere of influence and compensation, and decides to stay here out of the goodness of his heart or a desire to finish the job he has started, I don't want to hear any"nonsense" about his next bonus or expenses. Richmond County is very lucky to have this dedicated and brilliant man as part of the team.

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 02/09/10 - 07:33 am
0
0
I'm just not seeing it yet!!

I'm just not seeing it yet!!

glassrinkmaker
0
Points
glassrinkmaker 02/09/10 - 08:00 am
0
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I just wish someone would

I just wish someone would tell me exactly what he has done that is so great. He sure hasn't solved the disicipline problem. He hasn't reduced the top heavy "Home Office" staff and while teachers are taking furlough days, he is off at a "professional" conference in Phoenix! Someone help me with what I am missing!

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/09/10 - 07:44 am
0
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glassrinkmaker, actually Dr.

glassrinkmaker, actually Dr. Bedden has attended several professional meetings over the past couple of years. Not sure about this one, but most of the ones he has attended, his expenses were paid by the organization that invited him. That should say something. As for not seeing what he has done, perception is reality, and some just don't want to see anything but negative. I suggest looking at the numbers and disregard the opinion.

southern2
6624
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southern2 02/09/10 - 07:45 am
0
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Don't let the screen door hit

Don't let the screen door hit ya.

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 02/09/10 - 07:48 am
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Good time for a real leader

Good time for a real leader at the central office. We need to cut the staff of the central office by 50%.

glassrinkmaker
0
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glassrinkmaker 02/09/10 - 07:59 am
0
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Another Perspective, I have

Another Perspective, I have looked at the "numbers", have you? I am open, tell me of his accomplishments, if I am wrong, I am willing to change my opinion. By the way, unless he is the main speaker, I seriously doubt someone else funded his trip!

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 02/09/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
Ga Values - what hat did you

Ga Values - what hat did you pull that number out of? Exactly what positions do you consider wasteful? I am all for controlling expenses but random statements such as that aren't helpful.

glassrinkmaker
0
Points
glassrinkmaker 02/09/10 - 08:29 am
0
0
Martinez, I would say one

Martinez, I would say one such position is "spokesperson"! One would think that is the super's job! All the assistants to the assistants to the assistants to the principals and the super. The list goes on. Get RCBOE employer list and their duty titles, they are easy to pick out!

Mr. Thackeray
953
Points
Mr. Thackeray 02/09/10 - 08:38 am
0
0
Can you blame him? No one in

Can you blame him? No one in their right mind would want to continue working in this screwed up area if they can help it.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/09/10 - 09:29 am
0
0
As far as I can see, justus

As far as I can see, justus is the only one who continues to bring up race as an issue. This is a big news story for Richmond Co. Their superintendent might be leaving. Should the chronicle have ignored it because he is black?! Race will continue to be an issue my friend, as long as folks like you continue making it so. Geeze.

Kapa18
0
Points
Kapa18 02/09/10 - 09:32 am
0
0
I am not surprised. This is

I am not surprised. This is a top-notched professional. Richmond County refuses to realize it takes money to educate a person properly. I knew when he came here, he wouldn't be here long. Richmond County/Augusta is backwards...to busy trying to get more instead of concentrating on using what we have correctly..If they had their way they'd have a janitor in his position doing OJT. Pitiful

glassrinkmaker
0
Points
glassrinkmaker 02/09/10 - 09:34 am
0
0
Funny how no one can list all

Funny how no one can list all his accomplishments since becomming super!

Petey Aitchess
0
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Petey Aitchess 02/09/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
glassrink - I think you've

glassrink - I think you've missed the target on this one. A cursory search of the AC will link you to the stories and explanations about why he received his bonus and his accomplishments in case you missed them the first time around.

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 02/09/10 - 10:03 am
0
0
martinez..you might be right

martinez..you might be right 50% is not enough but being conservative I think we should start at 50% and after that cut some more if we can.. You are correct we need to spend money in the class room not on overhead.

thaTruth
0
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thaTruth 02/09/10 - 10:16 am
0
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I created this account simply

I created this account simply to resond to this topic. The truth is the ppl that live in Augusta want to leave. I'm not from here so I know how the system is supposed to work. Richmond county is amongst the lowest in the U.S This man has done your city a great justice because he cares. He is what the school system lacks and that's morals and honesty. Why would not hold onto something good? Isn't anyone tired of being on the tail end of education? Someone was right earlier, you vote in ppl that don't care and shower them with everything (Dr. Larke). Now everyone wants to step up and have an opinion about how Dr. Bedden should conduct himself. What about the insane cushy little retirement you ppl allowed Dr. Larke to walk away with? That's where the so called raises are.

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/09/10 - 10:18 am
0
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Glass, please refer to my

Glass, please refer to my 6:08 comment for starters. I agree with Petey, search the AC archives if you have doubts. Again, look outside of Augusta. Call folks in Atlanta who have a statewide perspective and no ties to anyone locally for an outside perspective. Martinez, sounds good, but you're a bit misguided. It takes people to run the RCBOE, one of the largest businesses in the CSRA in terms of budget and staff.

thaTruth
0
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thaTruth 02/09/10 - 10:41 am
0
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@ Jonas, he cut his own

@ Jonas, he cut his own salary, he has advantage of knowing the budget and where the money is, I doubt he's trying to shake apples from a bare tree. Anyone with a naked eye knows there's no money in this city.

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 02/09/10 - 10:48 am
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0
Bedden is NOT a good super!

Bedden is NOT a good super! He's not even a good human. All these lies about reasons for not cutting the central office show his true character, as do his constant attacks against teachers, bus drivers, and other school system employees. In reality, if more employees had guts, a TON of lawsuits should have been filed against him. He's an educrat, and we should LET HIM GO!

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 02/09/10 - 10:51 am
0
0
AnotherPerspective is either

AnotherPerspective is either Bedden himself, or his ridiculous PR guy, Louis Svelha. He shouldn't even HAVE a PR guy. We need to get rid of these dimwitted board members too.

Pistol
0
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Pistol 02/09/10 - 10:56 am
0
0
thaTruth, I gather from your

thaTruth, I gather from your post you have not lived in Augusta long. I'll give you the benifit of the doubt and give you some information on the superintendants position and Dr. larke. First, the superintendant is not a position voted on by the people, it is an appointment by the School Board. Second, Dr. Larkes retirement is based on his number of years of service and his pay at retirement. His retirement does not come out of the Richmond County budget. True, Dr. Larke was not a good super and the damage he did to the Richmond County School System will take years to correct. Dr. Bedden has done a great job with the budget cuts and personnel he has to work with. If he moves on we can only thank him for his dedication and commitment he has given to Richmond County.

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 02/09/10 - 11:05 am
0
0
Cleanup, you're funny. Again,

Cleanup, you're funny.
Again, to you and everyone else, please cite facts to support your opinions. It's fun to rant and rave and hide anonymously in the bushes, but I challenge you to cite facts (i.e. not rumors, speculation or things you claim to be facts).

thaTruth
0
Points
thaTruth 02/09/10 - 11:06 am
0
0
Pistol, I've lived in Augusta

Pistol, I've lived in Augusta 4 nines. By voted in I'm addressing the officials that've actually been voted in with regard to the the level of education that's acceptable in this city. You city officials have a say in the town hall meetings and fellow members of Dr. Bedden that you "appoint" to run the system. You have parents here correct, well instead of all the responsibility being put on the shoulders of this one man, claim it as parents. The truth is it's at the fault of everyone whose done nothing but post bulletins. As for Dr. Larke if he weren't appointed and made excuses for by locals, then he too would have cared enough to cut his own salary in order to put it in the school system. Offering him a salary and cushy retirement plan is taking from these kids. I think the cuty was very blessed to have Dr. Bedden for this short amount of time, but it's sad that you don't recognize a good thing when its in your face. Please just look at some of these misguided ppl, (what kind of car he drives) come on, what difference does that make? Is he producing results? Where the gang activity is, the truth is it doesn't matter if its in Aiken or Augusta, it's in Georgia. Get rid of it! These ppl are focused on the wrong things. Aiken is only 30 minutes away, so now gang members can't drive (please).

JustMe
0
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JustMe 02/09/10 - 11:11 am
0
0
PR Guy? He is the

PR Guy? He is the spokesperson for the Richmond County School System. Anytime anything happens who do you think the tv and radio stations call 24/7. All the school systems have spokespersons. Who does the website and coordinate alot of things that go on with the schools? I sure wish someone would print his job description because it certainly isn't a PR guy. The last lady we had never worked with the media and tried to put a spin on everything. That is why she is not here anymore. Mr. Svehla is well respected by his peers ,the school system and the media.

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