News 12 speaks with top 3 superintendent candidates

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

AUGUSTA, GA -- Richmond County's Superintendent search is now down to three. All are from out of town and two of the candidates are women.

News 12 spoke to each of the candidates by phone to find out why they want to be the next Superintendent of Richmond County Schools.

Dr. Dana Bedden is currently the Superintendent of Schools in the William Penn School District in Pennsylvania. He's been there for two years and he says during his short time there, he has turned the district around.

Before his tenure the district had never made AYP and now they do.

He told us why he's the best candidate for the job. " I believe education is a civil rights issue. It is a great equalizer and when everyone has an education, it means everyone has an opportunity to be successful."

Dr. Shirley Carraway is also a Superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She's been there four years and says she's ready to make the move to Augusta. "From what I’ve read and the information we have about the school district, I think I would be able to help the school district in continuing it's quest for excellence."

Dr. Susan Clark is an Assistant Superintendent in McDonough, Georgia. She's also been on the job there four years and she's the only one of the three who isn't already a Superintendent. However, she says she knows Georgia schools and knows what it will take to fix them. "Everybody in the state of Georgia is struggling with mathematics and Richmond County is no exception. It's more about working on instruction and the kind of instruction that takes place in the classroom."

All three candidates agree on some things: they love Augusta and want to move their families here. All three also agree community involvement is key and say they'd work on improving communication between the school district and the board.

The school board is wasting no time bringing these candidates in for a second interview. Dr. Bedden and Dr. Carraway will be down next week for their second sit down with the board. Dr. Clark is scheduled for her second interview the following week.

One big topic will of course be salary. Dr. Bedden is the highest paid candidate at $170,000 annually. Dr. Shirly Carraway makes $149,000 annually. Dr. Susan Clark who is an Assistant Superintendent makes $114,000 yearly.

To listen to our full interviews with the three candidates, click here.


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  • by Anonymous Location: Orange County on Jun 19, 2007 at 10:59 AM
    Dr. Carraway would not served the needs of Richmond County Schools. She has taken Orange County Schools from one of the top 3 in the state academically to an average school system at best. During the years prior to her arrival the district had the NC Model School of Technology and had 5 Schools of Excellence. During the past 3 years technology has dwindled to a level below where it was 6 years ago. The schools has fallen in state testing to level that now has one school under threat of state take-over. Funds have been utilized for pet projects and for special personnel positions for her close associates. The school system now has incompetitent micro-managers at the district level. Her agenda has always been self serving with little to no regard for the needs of the students shewas hired to care for. The best thing Richmond County Schools can do is not hire Dr. Shirley Carraway.
  • by Anonymous Location: Orange County on Jun 15, 2007 at 07:48 PM
    Shirlet Carraway should be put on the block and be accountable for the way she has royally screwd up the orange county schools. I wonder if she can sleep at night with all the lies she has told and turned away from the community, school district, staff/teachers, parents and most of all - our precious children. She doesn't care as long as she makes the big bucks. Carraway - how can you stand yourself and how you hired Mamie Jay and didn't stand behind her when she got into trouble. It is all about you, isn't it. God bless you soul. She has DESTROYED a year round school with "SCHOOL OF EXCELLANCE" STATUS to one that will be mediocre. Jealously or wanting to meet "numbers" and "SES BALANCE" and "$$$$$ BUDGET" that she has lost sight of what counts. The precious children that we care for now and our future. May you remember this Dr. Carraway...you are going to create some monsters someday and I hope they take care of you.
  • by Dula Location: Hillsborough, NC on Jun 15, 2007 at 02:53 PM
    Please get in touch with parents from the County schools in Hillsborough, NC to find out what is really going on. Dr. Carraway has started some fires and leaving so she doesn't have to answer to some of the things we all have seen her say and do. Ask her about Central Elem. and Hillsborough Elementary. Do not ask her to hire anyone because if she knows them - the school system will be messed up like ours has been. If she cared about "kids" instead of "numbers", "free and reduced lunches", and SES - she would be doing the best for ALL kids. She even lied to us about retiring. She said she wanted to go back to Pitt County, NC and take some time off. Her family did not even move here with her. Maybe that stress is hat has added to the other stress of making wrong decisions that she Will Not be around to ask Why!!! Good luck to you all - hire her and get her out of our County!
  • by Anonymous II Location: Hillsborough on Jun 9, 2007 at 02:59 PM
    Put simply, the Orange County school system is in much worse shape now than it was 4 years ago. Coincidence...? Test scores are down, the superintendent has alienated herself from the community (her family did not move with her to Hillsborough), and the community as a whole does not trust the leadership that is now in place. This is in stark contrast to her predecesor. Ask around.... Key staff members who propelled the system to previously unreached successes have either been pushed out, or gladly left, only to flourish in other systems with either the same responsibilities, or higher levels of responsibility. But who knows, this could be a fresh start for our school system to maybe get back to where it was 4 years ago...
  • by Anonymous Location: Orange County, NC on Jun 7, 2007 at 08:39 PM
    If you really care about your children and about providing them with safety and opportunity do not hire Dr. Carraway. She is dishonest and does not support her staff. Please look at the principal and teacher turnover in her brief stint as superintendent. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE.
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