Roberson will seek position in Aiken

File/Staff
Dr. Frank Roberson, interim superintendent for Edgefield, said he wants to remain in the area to be close to his family.

AIKEN - Newly named Edgefield County Schools Interim Superintendent Frank Roberson said Monday he will apply for the open Aiken County School superintendent position.

Dr. Roberson was named interim superintendent Friday after contract negotiations stalled over a clause that would have allowed him to leave the district with 60 days' notice at any time during the term of the contract. Dr. Roberson cited family reasons and advice from his lawyer for stalling the process.

Despite his interest in the Aiken position, Dr. Roberson said he's "going on faith" and keeping his options open, including teaching at the college level. His first concern is staying close to family, including his parents, who are in their 80s and 90s.

"What drove that basically was looking at a long-term commitment and the impact that that commitment would have on family," he said. "And given the increased responsibilities for family, it just made sense for me to look at long-term employment in my home district."

Scott Chitty, the Edgefield board vice chairman, said Dr. Roberson had told the board he had an interest in the Aiken position but said family was the first concern. Mr. Chitty said the situation was difficult because Dr. Roberson was the best choice for the district.

"Personally, I was very disappointed that Dr. Roberson chose as he did and that he chose to terminate our contract," Mr. Chitty said. "He is a great individual and well-respected in our community and was going to do a wonderful job for us, and I hate that things didn't turn out better than they did."

Although Dr. Roberson will have to follow the same search committee process as other superintendent candidates, he said the community has shown interest in his return to Aiken County. He also said he has not spoken with any district personnel because that would be "inappropriate."

Dr. Christine Sanders, the Aiken school board chairman, said the board wouldn't know if Dr. Roberson was in the pool of candidates until the top 10 are presented to the board later this year.

"I would think that he would be wholeheartedly welcomed back. But it would not be done without the search committee," Dr. Sanders said. "He is very well-respected by the administration, the teachers and the people in the community."

Dr. Roberson said he would remain with Edgefield until at least January.

Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.