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Richmond County school board votes to open search for new schools chief

Richmond County Superintendent Frank Roberson won't reapply for job

Monday, March 24, 2014 9:35 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:57 AM
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The Richmond County Board of Education voted Monday to launch a search for a new schools chief who will take office when Superintendent Frank Roberson’s contract expires in August.

Frank Roberson has been superintendent of Richmond County schools since 2010.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Frank Roberson has been superintendent of Richmond County schools since 2010.

Roberson said he will not reapply for the job, saying that board members electing to open a search rather than extend his current contract hints at their intentions.

However, he said his mission as an educator will not stop.

“There’s a lot in me to do the work of educating children,” Roberson said after the called meeting. “That’s my passion. There’s too much in me to stop now. I’ll have to survey my options, but I do know this: I will continue to provide quality schooling for children somewhere.”

The motion to open a search passed 8-1 after board members spent more than two hours in a closed-door executive session. Board member Patsy Scott voted no, and Marion Barnes was absent. Scott and other board members declined to comment about their decisions.

Roberson was hired in 2010 on a three-year, $170,000 per-year contract, and with a background in school reform, was largely seen as a savior who could rescue the struggling system.

He fell ill six months later with complications from an abnormal clustering of blood vessels on the brain, known as arteriovenous malformation, and had emergency brain surgery.

He was absent for nearly 19 months, returning on a part-time basis in December 2011, and full time in September 2012. Roberson said doctors told his family after his surgery that he would never walk, talk or possibly see again.

The board waited two days before Roberson’s contract was set to expire in August to address his employment, voting 6-4 to extend the contract for one year, rather than renew it for another three.

The vote Monday gives the board time to open a nationwide search for a new leader, which will fall at a time when many superintendent contracts are ending across the country.

Roberson is eligible to reapply for the position along with other candidates, but he said his reading of the vote encouraged him otherwise.

“I’m not criticizing the board, I’m just looking clearly at the action,” he said.

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internationallyunknown
4177
Points
internationallyunknown 03/25/14 - 03:01 pm
4
0
Grapevine

It wlll be Tim Spivey...

Spivey had the grounds to sue the county before Robinson took office...he was GIVEN the Deputy Sup. job only because he would have won his lawsuit.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 03/25/14 - 04:01 pm
0
0
It seems
Unpublished

awfully convenient that marion barnes was absent as usual, in my opinion.

willie7
955
Points
willie7 03/25/14 - 04:06 pm
0
0
Yes, Dr. Roberson is a good
Unpublished

Yes, Dr. Roberson is a good and honest person. I am sorry he became ill---He would have moved the system forward. I want to thank him for what he has done for the system. Race shouldn't matter , but it has since 1870 when the system started.
White men led the system for over 125 years before a black man was extended the opportunity. Maybe , we will select a woman, black or white.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 03/25/14 - 04:51 pm
2
1
'Tim Spivey should be the
Unpublished

'Tim Spivey should be the obvious choice. Only problem is he is white, which will keep him from being the quick shoo-in.'
You can't be saying that the black commissioners are racist? Who would have guessed?

jimmymac
39205
Points
jimmymac 03/25/14 - 05:23 pm
0
0
SUPER
Unpublished

The blacks will claim that it takes a black superintendent to understand the educational needs of a minority student. They've done so well in Detroit, DC, Baltimore and other liberal strongholds.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 03/25/14 - 06:10 pm
0
0
Tim Spivey will still have to

Tim Spivey will still have to apply for the job. Did he apply for it when it was last advertised? I never heard anything about that. Perhaps he does not want the job. Perhaps he is doing the most good in the position he is in without having to deal full-time with the backwards thinking board members. The board was good to Roberson. All that time off and he still had a job to come back to. I wonder if a Richmond County teacher, under the same circumstances, would have their job still available after 19 months off. I hope the board does the right thing and hire the best candidate for the position regardless of his or her race. And I agree with the poster who stated that the citizens should vote for the superintendent.

Bizkit
31267
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 07:39 pm
0
0
I wonder if the

I wonder if the superintendent could sue the county for discrimination because of a handicap?

corgimom
32206
Points
corgimom 03/25/14 - 08:51 pm
0
0
noxious, Dana Bedden is now

noxious, Dana Bedden is now sitting pretty in Richmond VA making $225,000 per year. The Richmond VA BOE voted unanimously to hire him.

He came out of it smelling like a rose.

corgimom
32206
Points
corgimom 03/25/14 - 08:53 pm
0
0
Bizkit, no, that's why the

Bizkit, no, that's why the Board is just letting his contract run out. It is not illegal to not renew a contract, and it doesn't matter what the reasons are. When the contract ends, both parties have the right to walk away.

Darby
25524
Points
Darby 03/25/14 - 10:54 pm
1
0
I'm more concerned about what the board's

"compassionate" treatment of Dr. Robinson over the years is going to cost Richmond County taxpayers.

He should have been terminated with a reasonable (and generous) severance package years ago.

Becoming ill was not his fault, however the citizens of the county should not be held accountable for his situation either.

Just more fiscal irresponsibility.

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