Hines named new Houston schools superintendent

PERRY — The Houston County Board of Education unanimously selected Robin Hines as its new superintendent Tuesday.

Hines, currently assistant superintendent for school operations, will take over when Superintendent David Carpenter retires at the end of May. Hines was the principal of Northside High School before being promoted to his current position in 2008.

The board approved a three-year contract for Hines, who will earn $175,000 annually.

Among the biggest tasks ahead for Hines are looming budget cuts, which could range anywhere from $15 to $25 million for the system. The board plans to cut 80 classified staff positions in response, and it is considering cutting 99 positions for teachers, counselors and other certified staff in the future.

Once the choice was announced, Hines was asked to share his thoughts at the board meeting.

“These are unprecedented times,” he said. “They will be difficult for all of us. I know the school system, the board, we will be in the boat together, rowing together.”

The internal superintendent search, which lasted two months, highlighted the preparation and initiative of Houston County’s staff, said board member Skip Dawkins.

“By and large, the school system has something to be proud of, with people in the organization who meet the standards and step up to the plate,” Dawkins said.

Several board members said making the final selection for the job was a difficult decision.

“We have great leaders in the county. Either one could have led us,” said board member Fred Wilson. “It was a tough choice, but we feel like we made the right choice.”

The internal search yielded four applicants, two who were deemed qualified enough to proceed with interviews — Perry High School principal Darryl Albritton and Hines.

Hines holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Valdosta State College (now Valdosta State University) in health and physical education.

He has been a teacher and coach at schools in Thomasville, Griffin, Moultrie and Albany, as well as the athletics director at Westover High School in Albany.

He also served as principal at Charlton County and Jackson County Comprehensive high schools, and as assistant principal at Dougherty Comprehensive High School.

In February, Carpenter announced his plans to retire. He has served as superintendent for three years, and 35 total within the Houston County school system.

Less than two weeks later, the school board announced it would begin its superintendent search internally first during a called meeting Feb. 22. Among the requirements for applicants were experience as a principal, experience with administration, budgets and personnel, and a goal-oriented management style.

Hines and Carpenter will work together until Carpenter’s retirement.

“He and I have worked closely for the past two years. He was ready for the opportunity,” Carpenter said.

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.