Schools' interim leader is selected

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EDGEFIELD, S.C. - The Edgefield County School District officially named Frank Roberson its interim superintendent Friday, three days after he and the board reached an impasse on a contract for the permanent superintendent position.

Frank Roberson ended contract negotiations with the board.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Frank Roberson ended contract negotiations with the board.

The school board met in special session Friday at the district office.

School board chairwoman Sallie Cooks said the district will begin its second superintendent search in nine months as quickly as it can.

Sharon Keesley announced her retirement from the position in September 2006. Dr. Roberson was chosen by the board to replace Dr. Keesley this spring, and was set to begin his duties as superintendent July 1.

However, a contract dispute resulted in Dr. Roberson withdrawing from negotiations in a letter dated July 3. The school board then voted 4-2 on Friday to give him the interim title.

Board members Brad Covar and Scott Chitty were both opposed to Dr. Roberson's nomination. Board members James Bibbs, Viola Jackson, Mary Jackson and Ms. Cooks voted in favor of Dr. Roberson becoming interim superintendent.

Member Andy Livingston was absent.

According to school officials, Dr. Roberson's contract negotiations broke down over a proposed clause that would have allowed him to leave the district with a 60-day notice. Dr. Roberson was in favor of the clause, while the district was not.

Dr. Roberson said his decision to end contract negotiations was in the best interest of his family. Increased family responsibilities put an even greater importance on the 60-day clause, he said.

"It is not a selfish thing on my part, it's looking at how to (best) look after family," he said.

District attorney Greg Anderson described the clause as uncommon and said no other Edgefield County administrator has ever had such a clause in a contract.

In an e-mail dated July 5, Dr. Roberson told Mr. Anderson that he was willing to serve as interim superintendent until January.

Friday's meeting saw the school board go into a nearly three-hour closed session before emerging to announce the end of Dr. Roberson's contract negotiations and a vote on the interim position.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 07/07/07 - 05:59 am
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When January comes will

When January comes will Edgefield county be without a supt.? There's something very large missing from this story.

Edgefield
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Edgefield 07/07/07 - 08:52 am
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Yes there is something

Yes there is something missing. Sally Cooks who likes to be called Dr. Cooks wants her sister in law to have the job. There is more dirt to this than could be reported in one paper. Hopefully the State Dept will take over the school and things will get running right.

IMOinNA
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IMOinNA 07/07/07 - 09:59 am
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The main point here is that

The main point here is that Edgefield county will be left with no superintendent. I don't know Dr. Cooks or her sister in law but wouldn't that be a conflict of interest for her to push for someone in her family to get the job? I am all for whomever to get the job as long as they are putting the best interest of the school district and the children first. My children attend Edgefield county schools and I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Roberson and discuss some issues at one of the schools my children attend. I think he would have been a great asset to the school district. I also understand that the clause he was asking for was maybe out of the ordianary or had never been done before, but maybe there were family reasons and this should have been looked at. It will be sad to think we lost the right potential superintendent, because of one issue, that he might have never taken the opportunity to use that clause anyway

SHOCKER1
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SHOCKER1 07/07/07 - 10:43 am
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The other choice for interim

The other choice for interim was the outgoing superintendent, Dr. Keesley. Doesn't that make more sense than Dr. Roberson? If we couldn't negotiate a contract, why should he stay to help? Because of 2 board members that only care about their agenda that's why! AND what school district is going to want to let go a superintendent in the middle of the year to come and work for ECSD? I have a feeling Edgefield is going to have to settle for a throw away from another district. Edgefield County better wake up and get rid of their board members and start over! They are ruining our district!!!!! And why didn't a certain board member come home from vacation to attend this important meeting? And by the way another $20,000 will be spent to find another person!

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 07/07/07 - 10:45 am
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I hope the AC does a follow

I hope the AC does a follow up on this story. ARC knows what happens to an entire school system when the superintendent position isn't properly filled.

EdgefieldDaily.com
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EdgefieldDaily.com 07/07/07 - 01:18 pm
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There is a lot more to this

There is a lot more to this story. Check out EdgefieldDaily.com and find out. I can't make it to the meetings but can always count on EdgefieldDaily to get the scoop, and to print it. Something the PC papers are afraid to do. Check out the Wandering Minds too, thats where the real juicy stuff is.

Spurs07
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Spurs07 07/07/07 - 01:44 pm
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Hopefully Dr. Roberson will

Hopefully Dr. Roberson will come back to Aiken County. He will make a great leader and has served the school district well during the over 20 years he has served there.

Parents United
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Parents United 07/07/07 - 06:52 pm
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Lets have a discussion on

Lets have a discussion on education matters in public schools each Saturday morning at 10 AM on PARENTS UNITED RADIO. We are on the AM frequenct 1230 on the dial. All of your comments on education are welcomed.

Call in # 1877-4AM-1230
WNRR Newsradio

Edgefield
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Edgefield 07/07/07 - 07:49 pm
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A conflict of intrest has

A conflict of intrest has already happened with Rev Dr Cooks. Her sister-in-law got a job starting July and with a pay raise that could have gone to pay for another teacher. A BIG pay raise. And let us not forget that the new HR director is another School board members Bosses daughter. Anyone want to comment on the Good friend of Dr Rev Cooks that was told to lie on the job application, We found out and he is still getting big pay check

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