14 apply for Bibb school superintendent job so far

jmink@macon.comJuly 17, 2014 

As the July 31 deadline for Bibb school superintendent applications draws near, 14 candidates have applied for the job.

Still, most applications typically come in at the last minute, and the Georgia School Boards Association expects that to be the case this time, board member Lynn Farmer said Thursday during a school board meeting.

The association “has communicated with other people interested, but they think the applications will come in closer to the deadline,” Farmer said.

At least five of the applicants are current or former superintendents, and some deputy superintendents have applied, Farmer said.

“It means people with experience are applying,” she said.

Interim Superintendent Steve Smith has said he will stay in his position until the end of the calendar year, as board members search for the district’s next leader.

Separately on Thursday, Smith discussed his four top goals for the coming year.

The first goal involves increasing professional learning for educators, an effort he hopes will improve instruction. Officials plan to put into place a statewide teacher evaluation and development system, improve test-taking skills and focus on learning strategies for individual students.

“We need to focus on helping (students) become more proficient and more confident in taking tests that are required,” Smith said.

Another goal is to effectively use resources, specifically to better control cash flow. The district’s cash flow has diminished, and one priority is to increase cash by leasing space in the board offices on Mulberry Street. The first floor already is leased, and officials “will be very aggressive” in leasing the second and fifth floors, Smith said.

The third priority is teamwork. The goal is to foster collaboration among everyone in the public education system.

“We’ve got to be good role models, and we’ve got to push it down to the classroom,” he said. “We all need to be rowing our boats in the same direction and at the same time.”

Another goal is to upgrade the district’s accreditation status. Officials will soon create a time line to accomplish that goal, Smith said.

Welcome Center budget amended

Also Thursday, the school board approved a $300,000 budget increase for renovations at the Welcome Center. The budget originally set aside $500,000 for work, which included a roof replacement, office modifications to make room for human resources, additional office space and a large meeting room.

Workers recently found, however, that the current heating and air-conditioning systems must be removed and then replaced in order to put in a new roof. The cost for the new HVAC system will be taken from the general contingency fund of the education special purpose local option sales tax, commonly known as E-SPLOST. That expense would reduce the fund to $2.7 million, said Jason Daniel, facilities director.

School system to move forward with new elementary

A new elementary school at the current Morgan Elementary School site took a step forward Thursday. The school board approved officials to advertise for an architect for the $16 million building. The school, which will house students from both Morgan and Barden elementary schools, is scheduled to open in August 2016.

Board approves Macon Charter opening date

The school board also approved an amendment to its memorandum of understanding with the Macon Charter Academy, approving the charter school’s decision to push back its opening date. The school, which originally was scheduled to open in August, will now open in 2015 due to ongoing construction work.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.

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