After months of deliberation, the Brantley County Board of Education made its final decision on a superintendent at Monday’s regular meeting – but the board was anything but unified on the final choice.
After one hour in executive session specifically for the discussion of the vacant position, the board came out and voted 3-2 to make former Pierce County High School principal Anthony Smith the county’s new school superintendent.
Board chair Dot Hickox made the motion which was seconded by Teresa Lairsey to hire Smith at $110,000 plus benefits not to exceed $125,000
The two and board member Cindy Morgan voted for the appointment of Smith with David Herrin and Kerry Mathie voting against the decision.
Herrin told the Enterprise after the meeting that his decision was based largely on the amount of money that the system had agreed to pay Smith explaining that he did not think that it was appropriate in the current economy.
Herrin said that previous superintendents were hired when the school system was more financially sound allowing pay to be higher. Herrin also took issue with having a superintendent who would live out-of-county and be paid travel expenses.
Despite these objections, Herrin said he would stand behind the new superintendent now that he was officially selected.
Mathie would not comment on the decision.
Smith was hired to fill the position after the resignation of Drew Sauls who took a position in Pierce County late last year. Smith will take office on Thursday and told the Enterprise that he is ready to get started.
Though the decision was only officially made Monday night, a story by the Blackshear Times online late last week indicated that Smith had resigned to take the position in Brantley and to be approved at the regular meeting.
Many in the boardroom, Monday, erupted into applause upon the vote to hire Smith for the position.
The board also hired a new attorney for the first time in well over a decade. The board voted unanimously to hire Tracy Altman to take the position in place of long time board attorney Bruce Walker.
Altman is an attorney with the Law Offices of Earl Daniel Smith Jr. out of Nahunta and a former candidate for the probate court judge position.
The board first announced it would begin looking into the costs of local attorneys at last month’s meeting, however the board made no guarantees that it would change the attorneys at that time.
Walker nor Altman were in attendance of Monday’s meeting.
At the high school, Brantley County’s head football coach Mark Walker will also be stepping in to fill the position of junior varsity baseball coach after the approval of the recommendation at the meeting. Meanwhile, the board accepted the resignation of coach Craig Davis.
In other business the board:
* Approved the second reading of a board policy regarding homebound instruction that brings local regulations in line with state guidelines.
* Approved the purchase of a food slicer for Brantley County Middle School from Norvell for $3,948.
* Approved the bid of $8,700 from Stanley Dowling for concrete at the new band room. The money will come from SPLOST.
* Approved the bid of $3,000 from Stanley Glass for double doors at the Nahunta elementary and primary school cafeterias.
* Appointed Teresa Lairsey as the Brantley delegate for the Georgia School Board Association and Dot Hickox as the alternate.
* Approved the bid of over $1,800 for a condenser and motor for a freezer at Waynesville Primary School.
* Approved high school fundraisers.