Residents and employees have their say on superintendent characteristics

The public input session to receive the opinions of the community on the characteristics and qualifications residents deem important in the selection of a school superintendent drew comments from 12 of the approximately 110 people who turned out Monday night at Sams Auditorium in Fayetteville.

The public hearing was moderated by representatives from the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), the organization hired last week to lead the process that will replace outgoing superintendent John DeCotis.

GSBA representative Dr. Don Rooks prior to the public comments gave a brief overview of the selection process. Rooks also noted the complimentary on-line survey that, to date, has been completed by 1,233 residents.

Former board member Debbie Condon was one of several school system employees and community members who believed that the successful candidate should not be required to possess a doctorate. Condon in noting other attributes said a superintendent should possess strong leadership skills and be a strong leader with a vision for both academics and budget issues.

School system employee Sandra Watson was another who said a PhD. should not be a prerequisite, adding that the successful candidate should put students first and possess the ability to work with the school system’s many stakeholders.

Patricia Moore, whose grandchildren attend Fayette schools, said the next superintendent should be a strong leader and excellent communicator, one who will stand behind decisions once they are made.

Also speaking was bus driver David Gardner. He, too, believed a superintendent should be thick-skinned and one who is sharp financially with a strong business background. Gardner said the successful candidate should be one who maintains direct contact with schools, students and employees.