Mark Scott named lone finalist for Houston superintendent

alopez@macon.comMarch 17, 2014 

BONAIRE -- There were two candidates for the Houston County schools superintendent position, and now there is one finalist.

Mark Scott, assistant superintendent of human resources, will likely take over for retiring Superintendent Robin Hines. Scott interviewed with the board of education Friday along with one other unnamed in-house applicant.

“Houston County is a special place,” Scott said Monday. “I’m excited about being the face of this school system and about working to improve where we can improve.”

The board unanimously approved a motion Friday to offer Scott a contract and authorized board Chairwoman Marianne Melnick to negotiate the terms. Final action on the contract will take place at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting April 8. If the contract is signed, Scott’s first day as superintendent would be June 1.

Melnick met with Scott and board Vice Chairman Fred Wilson Monday at Hilltop Elementary School to begin contract negotiations. Principal Ovedia Glover and her staff invited the board to lunch in honor of School Board Appreciation Week, and the trio decided to stay at the school to get some work done.

Selecting the superintendent is probably the most important decision the board makes, Wilson said. The discussion on Friday was long, but the board demonstrated teamwork by reaching a consensus, he said.

“If things work out like we hope, we look forward to Dr. Scott serving our school system,” Melnick said.

Recommended by a former Houston superintendent

In his application for the position, Scott listed several Houston County leaders as references, including County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker and Development Authority Executive Director Angie Gheesling. But the most detailed reference came from David Carpenter, Houston superintendent from 2007-10.

Scott first applied to work in Houston County -- for a position in the central office -- in the spring of 2007.

“We did not hire him for that position,” Carpenter wrote, “but I could tell from his interview that he was the type of individual that we needed in Houston County.”

Carpenter encouraged Scott to keep applying for a position in the system, and Scott became principal of Northside High School in 2008. The former superintendent said Scott did an excellent job at the school.

“It just validated what I felt about him,” Carpenter said when reached by phone Monday. “He is an outstanding individual with great character, and I think he’ll be an outstanding superintendent.”

Before Northside High, Scott served as principal at Oak Hill Middle School in Milledgeville for about eight years. He has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Mercer University and holds a master’s in education from the University of Georgia.

As a Houston County assistant superintendent since 2011, Scott managed all areas of the district’s human resources team, which was recognized last year for exemplary recruiting processes and materials by the Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators. He managed the hiring and assigning of about 700 substitute teachers and the administering of about $50 million per year in employee benefits.

Scott said his family is supportive of him seeking the role of superintendent. His son will graduate from the Houston County system next year, and Scott said the family is thankful for the opportunities in education he received.

“We want that for other people’s children as well,” Scott said.

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 256-9751.

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