Schools chief in hospital

Roberson undergoing tests, his family says

File
Dr. Frank Roberson during news conference last week
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Richmond County schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson was in good condition Wednesday evening at Medical College of Georgia Hospital after complaining of severe headaches and fatigue the night before, his family said.

Once he felt those symptoms, Roberson was taken to University Hospital, then transferred to MCG.

Initial reports from radio station WGAC-AM (580) indicated that Roberson had surgery after experiencing cerebral bleeding, but a family statement issued later Wednesday morning through the Richmond County school system denied that report.

"There is no truth to the information that is being reported that Dr. Roberson experienced an aneurysm last night and underwent surgery," the statement said. "Dr. Roberson was transported to the hospital last night after mentioning severe headaches and fatigue. He is currently undergoing tests and is in good condition.

"The family asks for your thoughts and prayers," the statement said.

In another statement issued Wednesday evening, the family said Roberson "remains in good condition as the medical staff continues to run a battery of tests. The family appreciates the thoughts, messages and prayers they have received from the public."

Roberson's sudden illness forced the postponement of a program scheduled for tonight at Cross Creek High School in which more than 20 Richmond County public schools were to present plans to add magnet programs. Roberson has been a driving force behind encouraging more schools to implement magnet programs, and he was to introduce the event.

Schools spokesman Louis Svehla said the district has not transferred Roberson's power to Deputy Superintendent Dr. James Whitson.

Whitson would handle any crisis as needed while Roberson is hospitalized, but he still would not have the authority to sign checks or otherwise act in the superintendent's capacity unless the school board votes to give him that power.

"(Whitson) would just carry on business as deputy superintendent as if Dr. Roberson would be out of town for a few days," Svehla said.

Roberson's contract requires him to have an annual physical examination in September or October and report the results to the board confidentially. He also is required to inform the board in executive session of any medical issues that would prevent him from performing his duties. The previous superintendent, Dr. Dana Bedden, had an identical clause in his contract.

School board members contacted Wednesday had little or no information on Roberson's current condition, but they indicated surprise at his sudden illness based on his energetic demeanor at board meetings and other public appearances.

Roberson, 55, was hired as the district's superintendent in August and has gained high marks for his immediate efforts. He is a native of Aiken County and has 32 years' experience in education, including serving as superintendent in the Marlboro County (S.C.) district, associate and acting superintendent in Edgefield County and several positions, up to associate superintendent, in Aiken County during his 27 years in that district.

Roberson started his tenure not in his administrative office on Broad Street but by visiting all 57 schools in the district to see for himself the situation in each one.

He raised eyebrows less than two months into his new position by saying his goal was to raise the district's on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent within the next three years. For the Class of 2010, the district's graduation rate was 77.5 percent.

Staff writers Bianca Cain and Tracey McManus contributed to this article.

Comments (38) Add comment
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Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 02/23/11 - 09:24 am
1
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Let us pray that Dr. Roberson

Let us pray that Dr. Roberson has a speedy and complete recovery.

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 02/23/11 - 09:31 am
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As we reported this morning,

As we reported this morning, sourced from a member of his family, Dr. Roberson suffered a cerebral bleed of some nature. First seen at University Hospital, moved to MCG where he had brain surgery and remains in serious condition.

iLove
626
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iLove 02/23/11 - 09:46 am
1
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Thanks Mr. Rhodes. Prayers
Unpublished

Thanks Mr. Rhodes.

Prayers for Dr. Roberson.

Riverman1
81339
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Riverman1 02/23/11 - 09:46 am
0
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What a shame. Let's all pray

What a shame. Let's all pray for this fine man and the most competent and most respected superintendent we've had in a long time.

Sweet Tooth
2
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Sweet Tooth 02/23/11 - 09:56 am
1
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My best wishes for Dr.

My best wishes for Dr. Roberson and his family and friends, and I hope for him a full recovery of his thoughts, memories, and daily activities. But, recovery from a cerebral bleed can be very, very long process.

Is there a person in the Richmond County school system designated to assume his job responsibilities during his recovery?

TDW
30
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TDW 02/23/11 - 10:10 am
1
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Prayers going up for Dr.

Prayers going up for Dr. Roberson and his family (and the Richmond County school system).

soldout
1280
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soldout 02/23/11 - 10:33 am
1
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Praying for Dr. Roberson

Praying for Dr. Roberson believing it is a repairable bleed and not from a tumor.

terminusmundi
6
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terminusmundi 02/23/11 - 10:34 am
1
0
Richmond County finally gets

Richmond County finally gets a decent, honest, hard-working man as superintendent, and then this happens. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Dr. Roberson. You are desperately needed here.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 02/23/11 - 10:59 am
1
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I have met him several times,

I have met him several times, and came away impressed. He listens to all, no matter how trivial the matter. Get well soon, buddy.

covered
1
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covered 02/23/11 - 11:09 am
1
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Sending prayers of swift

Sending prayers of swift healing for a distinguished Superintendent and man of God.

Gigi73
0
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Gigi73 02/23/11 - 11:46 am
0
1
Sweet Tooth; That is not the

Sweet Tooth;
That is not the thing to say at a time like this, you are not a doctor to diagnose anything are you? Just keep him in your prayers and not worry who will be doing what right now.

Batman
18
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Batman 02/23/11 - 02:34 pm
1
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Like many I have prayed for

Like many I have prayed for Dr. Roberson and his family. I wish him the very best.

Sweet Tooth
2
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Sweet Tooth 02/23/11 - 01:37 pm
1
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Prayers going up. More

Prayers going up.
More prayers going up.
More and more prayers going up for this fine man.

This what you wanted to hear Gigi?

If President Obama suffered a stroke, wouldn't you want to know who was in charge of our country?

All I'm asking is who is charge of education for our children in Richmond County schools today.

Please, lose your attitude and care about our children.

And yes, I am I doctor, and I do diagnose, and I have first hand experience with brain injuries.

So back off, and let the Mayor say who is in charge of our children until Dr. Roberson recovers.

And yes, I believe in the power of prayer. I just want to know who runs the school system in the absence of its leader.

I'll pray that you will understand. I'll pray for you, Gigi, that the Lord will help you be more accepting of others.

Join me in prayer for Dr. Roberson and his family.

raul
4446
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raul 02/23/11 - 01:40 pm
0
1
Seems we have a conflict

Seems we have a conflict between Austin Rhodes 's statement and the family statement released.

DRRush
1
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DRRush 02/23/11 - 01:51 pm
1
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Praying for Dr. Roberson and

Praying for Dr. Roberson and his family as the go through this very difficult time. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

sufilindz
1
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sufilindz 02/23/11 - 01:52 pm
1
0
Let's not fight. We need

Let's not fight. We need nothing but positive thoughts here. I am friend's with his daughter, grew up with the family, and this is a very hard time for them.
Just keep them in your prayers. He is too tough not to be okay. :)

NrthAugustaSam
473
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NrthAugustaSam 02/23/11 - 02:30 pm
0
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Everyone knows Austin Rhodes

Everyone knows Austin Rhodes is right.

dougk
3
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dougk 02/23/11 - 02:41 pm
0
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Absolutely, just ask him.
Unpublished

Absolutely, just ask him.

CarlA
114
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CarlA 02/23/11 - 02:44 pm
1
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WGAC was reporting a much

WGAC was reporting a much more serious update on the superintendent's condition this morning. Either they jumped the gun or Mr. Svehla isn't telling the whole story. Hmm.

aubaug
62
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aubaug 02/23/11 - 03:22 pm
1
0
The Richmond County School

The Richmond County School District has yet to see what a wonderful gift they have received in having Dr. Frank Roberson as their Superintendent. I have sat in the classroom with him, I have taught his children, and he has walked through my classroom. I can tell you, he is truly one of the most honest, caring, loving, and sincere persons I have ever met. May God bless him and his family. May God touch him in a very special way and heal him.

BombquishaDavis
111
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BombquishaDavis 02/23/11 - 02:52 pm
1
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Its good to know you can go

Its good to know you can go to someone and as busy as they are they take the time to LISTEN....Get well soon Dr. Roberson....the kids need you! We parents need you!
May God heal you and make you strong again!

Riverman1
81339
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Riverman1 02/23/11 - 03:39 pm
0
0
Thank goodness the early

Thank goodness the early reports were wrong apparently. There's quite a difference in having brain surgery and headaches. But none of that matters. The man is okay and the Richmond County school system is much better off with him. Get well soon, Dr. Roberson.

clemsongirl
22
Points
clemsongirl 02/23/11 - 04:48 pm
1
0
I am praying that Dr.

I am praying that Dr. Roberson has a full recovery! He is a wonderful person!

aubaug
62
Points
aubaug 02/23/11 - 05:12 pm
0
0
Dr. Roberson is an HONEST

Dr. Roberson is an HONEST man. He will NOT be happy to find out that dishonest reports about his health were aired. He would rather have had the TRUTH about his heath handled in a truthful, but delicate manner, so that people could pray for him, his family, and the children of Richmond County.

TELLITLIKEITIS1
1
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TELLITLIKEITIS1 02/23/11 - 05:59 pm
0
1
so, what is Austin Rhodes

so, what is Austin Rhodes speaking about...where is he getting his information from?

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 02/23/11 - 06:07 pm
1
0
As I explained earlier, I got

As I explained earlier, I got information from a family member which contradicts what you see from the BOE...which was put out at the specific direction of his wife. It is not our place to question that decision, this is a tough time.

One thing I do want to say though, the BOE is only the vessel through which the family is communicating, so don't make the mistake of thinking any elected or appointed officials really have a place in this process right now...it is simply too early.

TELLITLIKEITIS1
1
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TELLITLIKEITIS1 02/23/11 - 06:16 pm
1
0
I see...actually what you

I see...actually what you have reported is the same that is on the news...the statement from the BOE is contradicting everything in the media. I hope he's ok, but I don't know which one to believe.

Riverman1
81339
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Riverman1 02/23/11 - 06:39 pm
0
1
Austin said, "One thing I do

Austin said, "One thing I do want to say though, the BOE is only the vessel through which the family is communicating, so don't make the mistake of thinking any elected or appointed officials really have a place in this process right now...it is simply too early."

So let me see if I understand this. You are saying just because the BOE is releasing statements from the family that they or any other official don't have any business thinking about this matter or discussing it. You say it's too early in the process right now. So you are saying because of this illness there will come a time when decisions will have to be made by officials?

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 02/23/11 - 06:51 pm
1
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I did not say any such thing.

I did not say any such thing. Give them a day. Something more than 10 hours.

Riverman1
81339
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Riverman1 02/23/11 - 06:59 pm
0
1
Huh? You did say, "One thing

Huh?

You did say, "One thing I do want to say though, the BOE is only the vessel through which the family is communicating, so don't make the mistake of thinking any elected or appointed officials really have a place in this process right now...it is simply too early."

You are saying they don't have a place (it's wrong) to do anything right now because it is too EARLY. But later in the "process" they will? That's my question and the implication you've made.

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