Board mulls scenarios for Richmond County superintendent position

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 5:28 PM
Last updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 1:15 AM
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When Acting Superintendent James Whitson announced last week his plans to retire June 30, Richmond County Board of Education officials acknowledged it was a time to make decisions.

Whitson spent 14 months filling in for Superintendent Frank Roberson, who has been absent since February 2011, when he underwent emergency surgery for an abnormal clustering of blood vessels on the brain. Whitson was asked to multi-task by leading the district while continuing his normal duties as deputy superintendent.

So with Roberson still not back full time and Whitson heading for retirement, who will fill the district’s top two positions?

Board President Alex Howard said the board will hold a meeting this week to discuss Roberson’s status. With the school year coming to a close, several scenarios could play out with the school system’s highest position.

The first scenario, one supported by the Richmond County Council of PTAs, is that the board of education will continue waiting for Roberson’s doctors to release him to work full time. Roberson returned to work part time in December but is not allowed to work more than six hours per week. After Whitson retires, the school system by law would have to assign the next highest ranking administrator to fill in full time – Executive Director of Middle Schools Virginia Bradshaw, according to school board attorney Pete Fletcher.

“You have to have someone as superintendent,” Fletcher said.

PTA Council President Monique Braswell said the best option is to wait for Roberson’s return, no matter how long it takes. She said Roberson arrived with a plan for change in the district and must be given more time to achieve his goals.

“Dr. Roberson came here and he changed the morale of the students, the parents, the teachers,” Braswell said. “He made great changes in the short time he was here.”

Another scenario is that the board votes to end Roberson’s contract and begin a search for a new superintendent. Roberson was hired in August 2010 on a three-year $170,000 contract. According to the charter, the board can use a majority vote to remove a superintendent who has become mentally or physically incapacitated.

In that case, the next highest ranking administrator would still act as an interim until the board hires a permanent superintendent. Fletcher said the board could accept applications from current school system employees and conduct an outside, national search for a candidate pool.

The deputy superintendent position would not have to be immediately filled because the organizational chart can be determined by the school board. Once a superintendent is hired, he or she would decide to hire either a deputy or two associate superintendents.

Chief Human Resources Officer Norman Hill said there is currently no superintendent opening and a deputy superintendent position has not been posted.

Whatever the situation, Fletcher said board members and administrators will make sure business as usual is taken care of in the interest of the students.

“If Dr. Roberson comes back or if he’s going to be delayed, we would have a road map,” Fletcher said. “If the worst happened, the school board would start an immediate search.”

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raul
5316
Points
raul 04/25/12 - 10:12 pm
3
0
Sitting on their hands for

Sitting on their hands for months and now getting in a crisis mode after making Mr. Whitson do the job for 14 months. Waiting for Dr. Roberson to return full time if that is ever possible, is a no go. It is not unreasonable to terminate an employee when there is no expectation of a reasonable return to duty on a full time basis. Terminate and move out with recruitment. SMH.

Question: Board, what are you doing about the problem? Answer: Mulling.

FLIPPED OUT
33
Points
FLIPPED OUT 04/25/12 - 10:20 pm
0
0
Sounds like malingering.

Sounds like malingering.

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 04/26/12 - 05:34 am
0
0
Tim Spivey. Tim Spivey. Tim

Tim Spivey. Tim Spivey. Tim Spivey.

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 04/26/12 - 05:50 am
1
1
Did I mention Tim Spivey?

Did I mention Tim Spivey? Honesty. Integrity. Knowledge. Management skills to equal or surpass the best educators in the state. And he's available, having submitted his retirement papers and will no longer be the Principal at ARC. He's young, energetic, and has an acute understanding of how to get his staff to move in the right direction. He is a MANAGER with no political agenda.

Alex Howard, call Tim Spivey. Dr. Roberson, Virginia Bradshaw, and Lynn Warr are all GOOD people, but it's time for a TIM SPIVEY kind-of-guy who will take charge and get our school system charged up and motivated.

Dr. Whitson, thanks for all you have done for us. You're a good man.

gaj265
201
Points
gaj265 04/26/12 - 07:14 am
3
0
With all due respect to the

With all due respect to the local PTA, waiting on Dr. Roberson to recover and take the reins is not an option. The RCBOE and its students need clear and present leadership, quickly. Dr. Roberson is in no condition to carry out his duties. If he has our students' well-being as his first priority, he will gracefully step aside so that a search can begin for a new leader.

Little Lamb
46859
Points
Little Lamb 04/26/12 - 07:34 am
0
0
Isn't is strange how Augusta

Isn't is strange how Augusta city government is agonizing over 4 days pay for no work for Ms. Pearson; and has fired two supervisors because of it — yet the school board has paid a $170,000 annual salary to Roberson for no work for 14 months?

Bizarro world.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 04/26/12 - 09:18 am
0
0
LL, perhaps the difference

LL, perhaps the difference is the city feels deceived in Beck's case. If only they could use their experience to identify and connect with the taxpayers.....On the other hand, I think they just used it as an excuse to fire Tom. Beck. And Good Morning to you!

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 04/26/12 - 10:13 am
1
0
While it certainly is sad

While it certainly is sad that Dr. Roberson has not fully had a chance to accomplish the goals he had set for the Board, being unable to work for 10 or 11 months is a long time to hold a job for someone, no matter how great. Mrs. Braswell's suggestion is a bit much. Also wondering how does six-hours of working a week equal part-time work? The Board of Education is a business and should be run as such. It's time to move on. Wishing all those involved the best of luck.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 04/26/12 - 12:33 pm
0
0
PTA's position on Roberson is
Unpublished

PTA's position on Roberson is ridiculous. He wasn't on the job long enough to have the glowing affect Braswell is attributing. He became ill right out of the gate. It's been 14 months and he can only work 6 hours a week? Give it up. Move on. Educating children is more important than an unwarranted extention of charity to a supt who needs to go ahead and retire. No disrepect intended to the supt, he's obviously a good man but for the good of all....it's time....

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 04/26/12 - 04:39 pm
0
0
Avid, I do not doubt Mr.

Avid, I do not doubt Mr. Spivey would do an excellent job. Probably --wait, definitely-- more than experienced and qualified. Too bad he's local. You know, and history bears this out, the confederacy of dunces that is the school board will hem and haw and commission a multiple tens of thousands search over the next year and when that provides them with someone half as good, that's who they'll hire. (And their entourage.)

Cocomommy
51
Points
Cocomommy 04/26/12 - 04:59 pm
0
0
Mary Jane Stout... Anyone

Mary Jane Stout... Anyone familiar with the name knows.

class1
299
Points
class1 04/26/12 - 06:42 pm
1
0
It is time to move on with

It is time to move on with the business at hand of running the school district. Well, there are a lot of capable people locally that can handle the job at hand. Also, maybe it is time to put a woman in charge!

da-realist
8
Points
da-realist 04/29/12 - 09:31 am
0
0
Bradshaw, who responds to no

Bradshaw, who responds to no one. You have got to be kidding. Smh

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