Richmond County BOE starts superintendent search

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September 15, 2006

It's the end of an era in Richmond County as Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke makes a deal to retire.

After months of controversy and contract negotiations, Dr. Larke will step down from his superintendent role at the end of October.

EducationTeam 12's Lynnsey Gardner spoke with two board members on where the board will go from here.

"It is nice to have this issue resolved," board member Helen Minchew told us.

"The school board felt it was best to get the superintendent situation resolved and behind us," said board member A.K. Hasan.

Just a day after Dr. Larke signed his amended contract, board members are planning for his replacement.

"We want to move forward," Minchew said. "We want new ideas."

"We can bring in someone in accord with our new vision and new direction, and we can go forward with improving our school system," said Hasan.

This is the first superintendent search in over ten years in Richmond County, and board members say they are looking forward to it.

"We as a board understand we need to rebuild, but we need to do it together," said Hasan. "It's not that we're going to force our way on a new superintendent, and he or she will not force their way on us. We have to take a team approach and do what is interest of our children."

As Dr. Larke's career begins winding down, he leaves behind a school system riddled with controversy--loan advances and low performing schools. But these board members think Richmond County still has appeal.

"This is where they can prove their worth. We have a lot of different problems on a lot of different levels," Hasan said.

"I think it will appeal to someone who wants a challenge," said Minchew.

And a challenge is something this board is well trained for after years of walking the line of politics and progress.

Deputy superintendent James Thompson will act as the interim superintendent when Dr. Larke steps down in October.

Hasan says potential candidates will not be interviewed until after the November elections, and the new superintendent will be named sometime after the first of the year.