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Bedden named finalist for Texas job

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The Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas named Dana Bedden the lone finalist for its open superintendent position tonight, according to the system's board chairman.

Dana Bedden, superintendent of Richmond County schools, applied for the position in January and was among three finalists for the job.   File/Staff
File/Staff
Dana Bedden, superintendent of Richmond County schools, applied for the position in January and was among three finalists for the job.

Jerry Christian said he contacted Bedden about the board's decision and said the superintendent was pleased with the outcome. He said the two discussed when they could begin contract negotiations.

According to Texas law, the Irving board must now wait 21 days before it can officially offer the job, which has been open since last year, when longtime Superintendent Jack Singley retired.

Bedden said in a statement tonight that he was honored by the selection, but wouldn't comment about whether he will accept the job.

"In order to remain professional and dedicated to the job at hand, I will not be fielding questions or providing any speculation in regards to my employment status," he said in the statement. "I would like to respectfully request that the media allow the process to take its course and I give the assurance that when it becomes appropriate, I will release a statement in regards to my future."

The superintendent has said previously that the Irving opportunity fits his skills well and that he would do what's best for him family.

Christian said that the contract the school district plans to offer Bedden will come close to the $250,000 salary paid to its former superintendent. Bedden's base salary with Richmond County is roughly $185,000.

Bedden was among three finalists for the job and applied for it in January after being recruited the month before. Thursday's meeting in Texas was reschuled from the previous week when a record snowfall in Irving cancelled proceedings.

Locally, some Richmond County school board members had hoped to sway Bedden their way in the meantime, but on Tuesday night the board took no action on making an official offer to Bedden.

Bedden has been in the middle of contract negotiations in Richmond County as his three-year contract here is set to expire in July. According to that contract, even if he accepts the Texas job he must finish out his current term in Augusta through July 31 unless the Richmond board releases him from it. Some board members have already said they would hold him to the contract.

Some Richmond County school members also have said that a week ago an unofficial offer was presented to Bedden, allowing a deferred raise based partly on there no longer being any school worker furloughs or layoffs. Some board members said they were waiting on an agreement from Bedden before officially voting on an offer.

Bedden has said that he likely wouldn't have been in the running for the Texas superintendent job if board members had offered him a contract sooner. He said talks began about his Augusta contract a year ago.

Statement from Dana Bedden

The following is a statement from Dr. Bedden:

I have become the lone finalist for the position of Superintendent for Irving Independent School District near Dallas. I am honored to have been selected by the Irving ISD Board of Trustees.

In order to remain professional and dedicated to the job at hand, I will not be fielding questions or providing any speculation in regards to my employment status. I would like to respectfully request that the media allow the process to take its course and I give the assurance that when it becomes appropriate, I will release a statement in regards to my future.

Comments (15) Add comment
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Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/18/10 - 11:48 pm
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Congratulations to Dr Bedden

Congratulations to Dr Bedden and Irving, TX. This situation reminds me of Pam Tucker. Once again Richmond Country didn't realize or appreciate what they had until it was too late.

slwbbear
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slwbbear 02/18/10 - 11:32 pm
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Wish you well, in your new

Wish you well, in your new job. Please take it a run. How can you hold someone to a contract when you wouldn't offer him a better one.

slwbbear
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slwbbear 02/18/10 - 11:32 pm
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Wish you well, in your new

Wish you well, in your new job. Please take it a run. How can you hold someone to a contract when you wouldn't offer him a better one.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 02/18/10 - 11:56 pm
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Run Forest Run!!!!!!!!!! You

Run Forest Run!!!!!!!!!! You built your resume up here. Augusta was just a stepping stone for you.

puppydog
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puppydog 02/19/10 - 12:19 am
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Congratulations, Dr. Bedden!

Congratulations, Dr. Bedden! you deserve it and Texas is getting a gem! I don't blame you one bit. You have been great for Richmond County & the RCBOE, but augusta leadership is too back-woods to know how to hold onto a valuable leader. you have improved our school system and community tremendously. What a joke- school board would give you a delayed raise that wouldn't come into effect until furloughs and lay offs end. That is so ridiculous and unrealistic. RC, you will never get anyone of high calibre with that backwards way of operating. Good luck, Dr. Bedden.We will miss you.

BuckeyeInGA
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BuckeyeInGA 02/19/10 - 12:23 am
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This is off topic but I am

This is off topic but I am compelled to respond to Petey's comment above regarding Augusta's Emergency Management department. Pam was a loyal employee but rest assured that Bubba Willis and Sharon Bennett are doing a spectacular job at EMA. Also, the EMA was enriched by the dedicated service the late Linda McDonald provided for a number of years.

lylagirl
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lylagirl 02/19/10 - 12:27 am
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I concur with hickstreetlane

I concur with hickstreetlane ... best wishes and happy trails.....

dominionfs
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dominionfs 02/19/10 - 12:27 am
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I wonder if Sheriff Joe

I wonder if Sheriff Joe Arpaio would consider taking over the Richmond County school district? Just a thought.

mosovich
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mosovich 02/19/10 - 12:29 am
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Congrats and best wishes..

Congrats and best wishes..

PR
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PR 02/19/10 - 12:31 am
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Congratulations to Dr.
Unpublished

Congratulations to Dr. Bedden. Just another fine example of how Dis-gusta runs off anybody who is qualified.

Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 02/19/10 - 12:55 am
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Will we find another Bedden,

Will we find another Bedden, or will a Larke fly in?

reasonrules
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reasonrules 02/19/10 - 01:04 am
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Petey... you obviously know

Petey... you obviously know nothing about the Richmond County School System or Dana Bedden!!! Good Riddance!!!! I applaud the Board for taking no action on Tuesday and I hope they will do the right thing and LET HIM GO!!!!! I can't believe he had the audacity to ask for a raise when teachers are being furloughed. Do we really have such a shortage of decent, moral, and ethical individuals in our state that we have to enact laws restricting Superintendent pay raises until teachers are no longer being furloughed???? Maybe this next time we can find someone with genuine integral and leadership qualities that will make REAL improvements to local schools instead of the "failure is not an option" increase in graduation rates. I'd like to see a woman as our next Superintendent. It's time we mixed things up a little. We need someone who actually cares about our students, teachers, and community. And by the way.....whatever happened to that performance bonus Bedden was going to donate to charity?? Did he ever produce anything to show he had done this?? Farewell Larke Jr, I hope you enjoy your new surroundings.

reasonrules
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reasonrules 02/19/10 - 01:17 am
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Qualified???? Disgusta???

Qualified???? Disgusta??? What exactly has Bedden done to improve the school system other than not get caught like his predecessor??? He's only been here for 2 1/2 years. It took him a year just to figure out where his office was. The major changes during his term....rightsizing... which was proposed by an outside firm. I challenge anyone to name one thing he has done to make this school system better..... wait I just thought of one... he's leaving.

justus4
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justus4 02/19/10 - 02:37 am
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Well, as predicted, the
Unpublished

Well, as predicted, the superintendent was the most qualified and will move on to do great things for the Lone Star state, however, the failure to recognize the value of his leadership can be placed squarely at the feet of the RCBOE. They failed to plan properly and put renewal of a new contract on the back burner, thus costing the students in the long run. How sad. Just further evidence of ineptness and a lack of vision by adults that ultimately is reflected in the learning ability of the district's students.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 02/19/10 - 03:52 am
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Professional parasites gotta

Professional parasites gotta stay on the move.

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 02/19/10 - 01:24 pm
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PRESTON - "he would do what's

PRESTON - "he would do what's best for him family"

shamorris
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shamorris 02/20/10 - 09:09 am
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Good-bye on to the next pit

Good-bye on to the next pit stop for how long.

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