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Board picks Roberson to lead schools

Chronicle file photo
Dr. Frank Roberson: Aiken County native will become Richmond County's next school chief after a unanimous board vote.
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Dr. Frank Roberson said Tuesday that he was honored by his selection as Richmond County's next school superintendent and hopes to get started by Aug. 23.

Dr. Frank Roberson  Special
Special
Dr. Frank Roberson

Reached by telephone in Washington, D.C., after being tentatively named to the post, he said, "It's just a wonderful humbling experience -- to be able to come back home, to come back to your own community."

Roberson is an Aiken County native and has a home in North Augusta.

He most recently has been the superintendent of Marlboro County School District in Bennettsville, S.C., and was in Washington on Tuesday as part of a five-member team representing South Carolina in its pitch to receive a second round of federal Race to the Top funding.

Roberson said he already has mentioned his candidacy for the Richmond County post to Marlboro County officials, and a transition process would allow him to start in Richmond County this month.

The Richmond County school board unanimously agreed Tuesday to name Roberson as the district's next superintendent, tentative to contract negotiations. Board President Marion Barnes said the hope is that a contract could become ratified by the board by as early as its meeting next Tuesday.

Barnes said he feels Roberson will continue the progress made by Dr. Dana Bedden, who left in June to take a superintendent's job in Irving, Texas.

"That's one of the reasons I voted for him," Barnes said. "He showed us a lot of energy when he interviewed with us."

Board member Barbara Pulliam agreed.

"I think he's going to be very good," she said, adding that she most liked that Roberson is "truly an educator with a hands-on philosophy."

Roberson said Tuesday night that he wants to move the system "to a world-class status." He said his first order of business would be to visit the county's schools.

"The first day, the report to the office will be at the school house," he said.

Roberson was first named last month among a top-three candidate pool that included Dr. Roy "Cole" Pugh, who retired in June as superintendent of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas, and Dr. Faron Hollinger, who retired as superintendent of the Baldwin County Public Schools in Bay Minette, Alabama.

Roberson and Pugh became the top two candidates after Hollinger recently withdrew from the race after being unable to reschedule a second interview with the board that he canceled because of a medical procedure for a severe case of laryngitis.

Roberson is not new to area schools. He served as interim superintendent for Edgefield County, S.C., in 2006-07, according to his résumé. The school board there named him acting superintendent in March 2007, but contract negotiations stalled and he applied for the then-open Aiken County school superintendent's position.

Roberson said that at the time he was up front with the Edgefield County board that he had applied for the Aiken job. He said the holdup in Edgefield came about because he wanted a contract that would have let him leave with 60 days' notice if he was offered the Aiken job. He has said he and the board parted on good terms, and have "a tremendous amount of respect" for one another.

Roberson's résumé says he was an "education consultant/evaluator/entrepreneur" from November 2007 to July 2009 before taking his current superintendent's role in Marlboro County, a system that has 4,800 students. Richmond County has more than 32,000 students.

Roberson most recently was making $135,000, "but I allowed $20,000 of it to be applied to operations given state shortfalls to save teaching positions," he wrote in his application with Richmond County.

Roberson touts education experience dating back to 1979.

In other action

- A committee of the Richmond County school board agreed Tuesday to have staffers examine an idea of starting the school year later in August by 2012. Some administrators said an earlier August start allows for more preparation time for standardized tests, but board member Barbara Pulliam -- who argued the early start is bad because of hot weather -- said setting a goal two years out gives time to develop a solution. Board member Jimmy Atkins suggested the system look into whether instruction days could be lengthened to possibly cut 20 days off the start of the school year.

- Board members heard from a representative of The First Stick Program, which offered grant money to start a lacrosse team at a Richmond County school. The board asked its athletic director to meet with the First Stick official and come back with a recommendation.

- Board members heard an update on a new Butler High School gym recently damaged by flood waters. Board members were told officials are still trying to determine why a downpour caused such flooding and that the incident is still being investigated.

Comments (84) Add comment
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KingJames
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 09:39 am
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Bettyboop, your last

Bettyboop, your last statement was a little bit contradictory. You said, "white or black he has a lot to prove and because the last two have been black and dismal failures folks have a right to question his abilities above his skin color." I think people are questioning his abilities because of his skin color. People can't and shouldn't say he's not right for the job because he's Black. And they definitely shouldn't say the only reason he beat out the other guy is because he's Black. He's not the guy I would have chosen, but I don't think his being Black was the determining factor for the BOE. Most people seem to forget that they wanted someone with local ties to get this job. Dr. Roberson is that man. I believe most qualified local people didn't want this job because of all the headaches. I hope Dr. Roberson can adjust well to a larger school system, and that people will at least give the guy a chance to do his job. He's the choice of the BOE and he will need support from the public in order for children to succeed at learning. Forget about the other two previous superintendents. They have nothing to do with Dr. Roberson, and he shouldn't have to prove that he's not like them.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 09:41 am
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Why are people even

Why are people even discussing Columbia County?

usafvet
3
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usafvet 08/11/10 - 09:46 am
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Why do you democrats insist

Why do you democrats insist on bringing Columbia County or Aiken County into this. We are discussing the hiring of a superintendent of Richmond county schools. The tax base in Richmond is garnered mostly from the Republicans in the county. Those on welfare, section 8 housing, and using every "gimme" program available contribute nothing to the coffers, but the right rev. makes sure they know who to vote for. This county has been run one sided for a long time, more so since the charles walker manipulated consolidation began. Countyman, you are absolutely wrong when you suggest that RC is ran by whites. It is ran (and ruined) by the county commissioners. They have manipulated the voting so that anything with real meaning must go the "black" way or not at all. Ray Charles could see the outcome of this selection even before the process began. And momster, because you worked with this man, you think that he is the "best". How long did you work for the other candidate, or how long have you known him? Heck, we may as well go ahead and find a lesbian black woman with disabilities and a converted muslim who illegaly gained entry to this country and give her the job. Then we would be POLITICALLY CORRECT. We whites are paying the band, yet they only play rap.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 10:08 am
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Usafvet, I'm sorry you feel

Usafvet, I'm sorry you feel the way you do. Your ranting doesn't reflect credit upon the Air Force or any other branch of the military. I see and agree with some of your points, but those good points are overshawdowed by your insensitivity. I hope they didn't teach you to be this way in the Air Force.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 08/11/10 - 10:13 am
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KingJames, Your comments

KingJames, Your comments almost always make my day. You are a credit to humanity and I appreciate the chance to read your perspective. It is refreshing. You temper your points with consideration, empathy and compassion that I wish more people showed. I hope you have a blessed day.

corgimom
33151
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corgimom 08/11/10 - 10:30 am
0
0
"If you were a parent who had

"If you were a parent who had a kid in a little trouble like being late or horse playing etc... He would treat it like it was a capital offense."

Good for him! That's just what RCBOE needs!

Or do you think that it's ok for kids not to follow school rules?

It is amazing to me how parents can think their precious little angel babies are special and don't have to follow rules.

I guess parents today don't teach their children "You mess up, deal with it."

corgimom
33151
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corgimom 08/11/10 - 10:32 am
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0
"The tax base in Richmond is

"The tax base in Richmond is garnered mostly from the Republicans in the county. Those on welfare, section 8 housing, and using every "gimme" program available contribute nothing to the coffers"

AMEN!

Troy Infantoy
0
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Troy Infantoy 08/11/10 - 10:34 am
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KingJames - usafvet was a

KingJames - usafvet was a "one hit wonder" in the USAF. He did one term and quit as a very low ranking airman. He spent the war kicked back in Italy and never experienced combat. He doesn't speak for the rest of us.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 10:55 am
0
0
Does this kat have enough

Does this kat have enough years in to draw his retirement in SC while working for the RCBOE?

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 10:59 am
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Troy, Navy vet here. The

Troy, Navy vet here. The longer you are in the military, the more you are supposed to learn about people from other backgrounds and cultures. To see good ole boys and thugs hanging out together was not uncommon behavior for me and my shipmates. Not that I was a thug, but you get the idea. We figured if we could get along with the Marines onboard, then we could get along with anybody! I guess some people just don't grasp that concept, and they bring preconceived notions with them wherever they go. A society where inclusion and understanding of differences has little room for people with preconceived notions.

KingJames
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 11:01 am
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FallingLeaves, thank you. I

FallingLeaves, thank you. I hope you have a blessed day as well. Corgimom, I almost forgot about the person who made that post. They obviously don't understand how much discipline is needed in schools. Once again, I AGREE WITH YOU!

montega12
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montega12 08/11/10 - 12:38 pm
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yeah columbia county is not

yeah columbia county is not really big on that type of thing not many people remember but columbia county fought desegragation tooth and nail my sister ten years older that me attended an all girls school the columbia county school board kept all girls at one school and all males at another so they wouldnt intermingle and its kinda funny this was back in the late 70s

montega12
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montega12 08/11/10 - 12:47 pm
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and momster and all the rest

and momster and all the rest im hispanic i caught racism from just as many blacks as whites coming up but these days thats all you wanta talk about personally i think you are all so politically correct its nauseating

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 12:56 pm
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montega - already knew your

montega - already knew your ethnic background as you have stated it before. However, what has your post got to do with your statement

" wow another black guess if your white need not apply"

and my response to it? Race-baiting is race-baiting and I guess it makes it even worse because you are not of either race, so it appears to me you are just trying to make controversy over Dr. Roberson's appointment when you don't even know the man.

life
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life 08/11/10 - 01:02 pm
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Praying for the end of

Praying for the end of stupidity and ignorance!!! Are you all parents? I pray for your children!!!! God Bless You!!!

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/11/10 - 01:43 pm
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Has anyone noticed that while

Has anyone noticed that while the last 3 superintendents have been black men, the last 3 deputy superintendents have been white men? Kinda like that gentleman's agreement on the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem being of two different races? Just an observation.

And the rampant racism in today's culture stems from the fact that people don't have money. Throughout history, when personal incomes have stagnated, the level of xenophobia has gone up. The difference with this phenomena this time around, is that the damage may be permanent.

And I love how we're judging the color of a man's skin and not the content of his character. "Judge not, lest ye also be judge."

cleanup
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cleanup 08/11/10 - 01:46 pm
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Kinda like the fact that A.R.

Kinda like the fact that A.R. Johnson has never had a white principal in the history of the school, but often has a white assistant principal. It's an unwritten, illegal, racist policy.

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 02:03 pm
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cleanup - please do not

cleanup - please do not confuse me with yourself. It was not I who began my statement by making a blanket statement of a race, then qualifying it at the end with the remark "I am not a racist" which shows that you already knew your statement for what it is.

Ignorance refers to lack of knowledge, which you demonstrated in your post. My being able to see through the facade is knowledge.

mrrhodes89
0
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mrrhodes89 08/11/10 - 01:51 pm
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Cleanup, Most high schools in

Cleanup, Most high schools in RC are that way. How many Black principals have ARC and Westside had? And the last time I checked, A.R. Johnson usually finds itself in the Top 10 of High Schools in the state, even with a Black principal.

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/11/10 - 01:58 pm
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BTW, according to Census

BTW, according to Census data, Black people outnumber White people in Richmond County, so there you go.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/11/10 - 02:23 pm
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The scary thing is, based on

The scary thing is, based on comments about the previous superintendent, I would say that Cleanup is or was a teacher in Richmond County.

mrrhodes89
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mrrhodes89 08/11/10 - 02:39 pm
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Cleanup does seem to know a

Cleanup does seem to know a lot about the school system. Maybe they were denied a promotion to Assistant Principal at AR Johnson or something.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 08/11/10 - 03:37 pm
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Congratulations Dr.

Congratulations Dr. Roberson!!!As a parent of two students in the school system I expect you will be an asset to our school system and this community.It's sad to see so many people still caught up on race. But, looking at the names I'm not surprised.It's just a character flaw that they have and not a representation of the school board or Dr. Roberson.Well stated life re 1:02.I couldn't have said it better.

whatever1234
0
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whatever1234 08/11/10 - 03:36 pm
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I worked with Dr. Roberson

I worked with Dr. Roberson many years ago when we were both with Aiken County. He is a very humble and kind man. There are very few people of authority that don't let it go to their head and become arrogant. I never saw this once with him, what you see is what you get. Such a rare thing these days. I wish him all the best in his new position. Richmond County chose well and I hope they will give him the support he will need to turn things around in the schools.

whatever1234
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whatever1234 08/11/10 - 03:39 pm
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Oh, by the way I am white and

Oh, by the way I am white and I don't care what color anyone's skin is - it's the way you treat people that matters to me. Dr. Roberson was always nice and very professional. He has my respect and I am thrilled to see him receive this position.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 06:32 pm
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No one should care if Mr.

No one should care if Mr. Roberson is black, white or any other color. Is he the right person for the job? I don’t know Mr. Roberson so I have no opinion. I do wish him all the success in the world and good luck he will need it.

gijoe7898
0
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gijoe7898 08/12/10 - 02:31 am
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good luck. your performance

good luck. your performance will be your measure.

DAMY46
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DAMY46 08/12/10 - 04:01 am
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To start off with----The new

To start off with----The new Super needs to spend a few hours at Glenn Hills High..He will learn how to handle some of the student problems...Believe me Dr. Frazier brings down the hammer.

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