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Bedden is finalist for Texas post

Superintendent won't say if he'll take job

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The Irving Independent School District in Texas named Dana Bedden the lone finalist for its open superintendent position late Thursday.

Dr. Dana Bedden said he will stay focused on his current job in Richmond County. 
  Special
Special
Dr. Dana Bedden said he will stay focused on his current job in Richmond County.

Board Chairman Jerry Christian said he contacted Bedden about the group's 6-1 decision and said the superintendent was pleased with the outcome.

"He and I talked about when we would start negotiating on the contract," Christian said by phone from Irving, noting that Bedden's communication skills, ability to improve a district's academic achievement, work through difficult financial situations and the many positive reviews Irving officials received of his past job performance made him an attractive candidate.

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 Thursday night that he is 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 his family.

Christian said that the contract the school district plans to offer Bedden could come close to the $250,000 base salary paid to its former superintendent, although the exact salary will be negotiated along with contract terms in the next 21 days. Bedden's base salary with Richmond County is roughly $185,000. If you factor in a fixed travel allowance, insurance and teacher's retirement costs and performance-based pay, the overall compensation paid is $230,630.

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 rescheduled from the previous week when a record snowfall in Irving cancelled proceedings.

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.

"My first reaction (to Thursday night's announcement) is I just wish we had come to some conclusion before he had put his résumé out in January," said Jack Padgett from his home late Thursday, adding that he hopes to continue negotiations in the 21 days Irving works on a contract with Bedden. Padgett reiterated again that to lose Bedden would be a setback for the school system.

"He's really been a breath of fresh air for the system," he said, noting that he wasn't surprised Bedden appealed to another district.

Board member Helen Minchew said she also wasn't surprised and now fears it's possibly too late to keep Bedden here.

"I just don't know if we can match it (the Texas offer)," she said. "It would be very difficult and probably we've done all we can do."

As for potentially losing Bedden, she said, "I certainly did not want to see him leave, and we'll be at a disadvantage. But we'll just have to do the best we can and try to move forward and I think we're in a much better position than we had been in before he came."

Bedden's three-year contract with Richmond County schools 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 school board members also have said that a week ago an unofficial offer was presented to Bedden, allowing a deferred raise based partly on the end of school worker furloughs or layoffs here. 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 job if board members had offered him a contract sooner. He said talks began about his Augusta contract a year ago.

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cleanup
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cleanup 02/19/10 - 04:20 am
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Good news! I wish he could

Good news! I wish he could leave immediately, but this will probably allow people to file their lawsuits against him before he goes. He's going into a position where the majority Hispanic constituents were already talking about keeping their kids out of school in protest if the Irving BOE didn't hire a Hispanic super. They shouldn't worry, though, it isn't as if he will be there more than two years. If Irving only knew the REAL truth about Bedden....

Brad Owens
3654
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Brad Owens 02/19/10 - 05:05 am
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Well, he is GONE. NOw the

Well, he is GONE. NOw the RCBOE doesn't look like idiots for throwing themselves at him.

Riverman1
70714
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Riverman1 02/19/10 - 06:20 am
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Bedden has put his resume out

Bedden has put his resume out for various positions for a good while. There is a recruiting organization that gives names to BOE's looking for potential candidates and they had his and his resume. That's why the previous places considered him. By the way, I don't believe that district is majority Hispanic or even close. It is predominantly white by a big margin.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/19/10 - 06:43 am
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Well, wasn't this bit of

Well, wasn't this bit of penny pinching handled brilliantly. I guess any one of the RCBOE members can step in and do the job Bedden was doing until a replacement (who doesn't plan to stay long) can be found. Apparently improving the A-RC schools isn't quite as important as some suspected. I've got to admit that I was one that was tricked by this little head fake. The voters chose these board members. I guess responsibility for losing Bedden still lies with them. You reckon Larke's long stay had anything to do with this really smart move? This sure appears to be something gubment school graduates would do.

Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/19/10 - 07:02 am
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They are lucky that Dr Bedden

They are lucky that Dr Bedden is a better man than I. I'd string RCBOE out for 3 weeks of making counter-offers and threatening to stay out of spite for lack of appreciation for my accomplishments and foot-dragging on a new formal contract offer.

ZenoElia
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ZenoElia 02/19/10 - 07:28 am
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Glad Irving can afford him.

Glad Irving can afford him. Mostly the wealthier group of DFW live there so he will be in elite company...sad we won't have someone running things here..seems like this thing turns around too regularly...I suspect the only reason he is alone in the running is because other candidates withdrew their resumes. But I'm just guessing.

Ga Values
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Ga Values 02/19/10 - 07:51 am
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Augusta finally catches a

Augusta finally catches a break, good for us..

cubbie
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cubbie 02/19/10 - 07:57 am
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Dr Beden has given Augusta

Dr Beden has given Augusta schools more positives than negetives . The problem is the Board does not know how to go beyond the old south mentality. Dr Bedens leaving will be a sad day of missed oppurtunity for the Augusta schools.

OIC
9
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OIC 02/19/10 - 08:09 am
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I wonder if we can get by

I wonder if we can get by without a new appointment and let the assistant supers handle the job without contracts, pay raises and bonuses. The Board can still micromanage the assistants and remove any or all that fail to improve our schools.

OIC
9
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OIC 02/19/10 - 08:16 am
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Dr. Bedden, Thank you for

Dr. Bedden, Thank you for doing your job and good luck with your future endeavors. I wonder if your contract will include a public safety position for a grateful mother.

norilyn0719
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norilyn0719 02/19/10 - 08:21 am
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Ahh, Dana 'Shakedown' Bedden

Ahh, Dana 'Shakedown' Bedden is at it again. Now, the real question is whether the Board falls for the Shakedown Artist. How can he, in good conscience, demand a raise when not only he has approved furloughing teachers and support staff, but, also, when they are the reasons why they test scores are improving. They are the ones on the front line with kids every single day and to cut their pay while demanding a $15000 yearly raise is demeaning and demoralizing to the educators and support staff he oversees. More importantly, how can the Board, in good conscience, approve a raise?
If he has indeed left the Richmond County School system in a better place than he found it, the system should be able to move forward. I'm sure we have qualified persons here in Richmond County who cares for these kids and would love to hit the ground running to move the School system in the right direction. I sure hope these Board folks show some leadership and not fall for the oki-doke! But their lack of leadership and common sense tells me otherwise.

lylagirl
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lylagirl 02/19/10 - 08:27 am
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WHATEVER!!!!! TO ALL OF THOSE

WHATEVER!!!!! TO ALL OF THOSE WHO THINK THIS MAN HAS DONE MIRACLES...THE ONLY MIRACLE IS THAT HE HAS OUTSMARTED THE BOARD TO GIVE HIM MONIES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN FOR A WORKER OR CHILD......HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE CLEAN-UP WOMAN...WELL HE WAS THE CLEAN-UP MAN...NOW HE'S GONE!

lylagirl
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lylagirl 02/19/10 - 08:24 am
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I AGREE WITH NORELYN

I AGREE WITH NORELYN 100%....GLAD SOMEONE ELSE CAN SEE THROUGH THE SMOKESCREEN...

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 02/19/10 - 08:47 am
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RCBOE's gain, IRVING'S

RCBOE's gain, IRVING'S loss!!!!

charliemanson
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charliemanson 02/19/10 - 08:56 am
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Congratulations to Dr.

Congratulations to Dr. Bedden.

RoadKing09
16
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RoadKing09 02/19/10 - 08:59 am
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Got what he could from

Got what he could from Taxpayers in Richmond now move on to another victim. Same happen in our county. Broke our school then left.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 09:32 am
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posted at 6:57 by cubbie:Dr

posted at 6:57 by cubbie:Dr Beden has given Augusta schools more positives than negetive. Dr Bedens leaving will be a sad day of missed oppurtunity for the Augusta schools. I immediately see three grammatical erors in your statements.1. "negetive"- the CORRECT spelling is NEGATIVE. 2.Dr. Bedens leaving-the proper form is Dr. Beden's leaving. 3. oppurtunity- the correct spelling is OPPORTUNITY. It is no wonder Dr. Beden wants to leave. I always keep a dictionary at hand when posting, and if I want to use a word that I am not sure the spelling of, I look it up. I learned this in college. I am sure it saved me from a few C's and got me a B instead.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 09:38 am
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I am sure Dr. Beden will

I am sure Dr. Beden will spend the next 21 days playing Superintendent in Richmond County. Being the lone finalist, that is the same as saying he's got the job. Barring a traumatic brain injury that would impair judgement skills, there is no reason for him not accept the position. Good Luck. And one other thing, Richmond County, stop acting like the lovesick jilted lover, there are more fish in the sea, and I am sure there are many more qualified individuals who can come in and do just as good or maybe even better than Dr. Beden has done. So get over it and start looking.

disssman
6
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disssman 02/19/10 - 09:49 am
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Dr. Bedden has been here

Dr. Bedden has been here three years and we are still grades as not meeting AYP by the GA Dept of Education. That is the bottom line. If he were to stay, how many more years would he need to make that happen? Now is the time for our elected officials to show that they are capable of running a system. Quit hopeing on a person who obviously wants to leave. Start the search this week for his replacement and insure the next person has a background in financial matters as outlined in the "school system policy for candidates for superintendent" That document states a minimum of 6 years proven experience along with 6 years proven experience as a floor teacher. Get on with the business at hand and quit the hand wringing, the sky isn't going to fall.

ohcanwesee
20
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ohcanwesee 02/19/10 - 09:49 am
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Boy he sure has everyone

Boy he sure has everyone fooled. We would not be hearing anything about Texas if he had not intended on leaving. Big hurray for the teachers they are the ones who get the credit for teaching out children.

disssman
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disssman 02/19/10 - 09:51 am
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For the school board members.

For the school board members. I am sorry about bringing up the school policy book. Obviously you folks don't know we have one or you have never read it. If you had read it you would know that policys dated 1970 are just a little out of date.

crackerjack
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crackerjack 02/19/10 - 09:57 am
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Dr. Bedden has done as good

Dr. Bedden has done as good of a job as anyone else can do with the Teachers Unions roadblocks. When you have a decline in enrollment, you have to trim the Faculty accordingly. He tried to avoid that by furloughing teachers so they could keep their jobs. As usual the sorry worthless teachers can't be let go because they are protected by the unions. And the good teachers have to suffer along with them. Take the Texas Job, and maybe they can find another Charles Larke or give the job to Fred Russell, or Charles Walker when he gets out of prison.

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 02/19/10 - 09:59 am
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cracker, how about trimming

cracker, how about trimming the central office before you start "trimming" teachers!!!

crackerjack
135
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crackerjack 02/19/10 - 10:00 am
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It is time for vouchers, as a

It is time for vouchers, as a lot of municipalities are doing now. If the school that your child is, required by law to attend is not up to state and federal requirements, then you are allowed to send them to a school that is.

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 02/19/10 - 10:03 am
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No one has still been able to

No one has still been able to show me all Bedden's achievements. Did have one poster tell me to look it up!! Kida hard to "look" up something that's not there.

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 02/19/10 - 10:02 am
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Teachers can do just so much

Teachers can do just so much with MANDATED CURRICULUM and a HANDS TIED BEHIND YOUR BACK approach to DISCIPLINE!

noway
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noway 02/19/10 - 10:03 am
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We need to replace our school

We need to replace our school board members. Every last one of them. If you have have to work with or deal with the board, they cannot do anything without the Board's approval. If they aren't going to give the responsibility to the Superintendent, then don't pay him so much darn money. Our school board is so terrible...Bedden has done a great job. Can you imagine the shape our schools would be in if Larke was still there. OH NO!

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 02/19/10 - 10:10 am
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Why do people compare Bedden

Why do people compare Bedden to Larke???? Compare him to a successful super and Bedden would look like Larke comparativley!

JustMe
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JustMe 02/19/10 - 10:34 am
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What we need to do is replace

What we need to do is replace the parents. Dr. Bedden and the teacher's cannot do miracles with students that do not want to learn. There are more people out there to do his job, but the RCBOE and the posters here will run them off just like you did Bedden. How would you like someone day in and day out to critique the job you do. Parents WAKE UP!!!!! Help your kids. The school system cannot do it for you!!!!

dani
12
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dani 02/19/10 - 10:37 am
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A man would be honest and

A man would be honest and forthright with the people and state his intentions. What or who is he afraid of.

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