Dr. Dana Bedden one on one

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News 12 at 11, July 23, 2007

AUGUSTA, GA-- The new superintendent of Richmond County schools is Dr. Dana Bedden. The announcement was made official at the Richmond County Board of Education this afternoon where Dr. Bedden signed on the dotted line shortly after the school board approved his contract.

He then sat down with News 12's Lynnsey Gardner to talk about what's next. "Everyone has said it. All schools are not preforming the same but that's our goal; to get every school preforming at high quality level."

After a five month search by the school board, a Pennsylvania Superintendent is now heading south the head a district desperate for new direction. He'll start August 1st. In the meantime, he and his wife will look for a new home and schools for his three children. Dr. Bedden says being a father only adds to his qualifications as top educator for the county's 33,000 students.

"My hope is trying to make sure we meet the needs of my children also that will cause me to make some very informed decisions." adds Bedden.

And in a show of symbolic support, every board member voted in favor of approving Dr. Bedden's contract.

"It's a great day for Richmond County Schools. Dr. Bedden brings a wealth of leadership and a wealth of knowledge and I'm looking for great thinks to happen." said board member Venus Cain shortly after the announcement.

"I think he is going to do a very good job and i think the board is going to give him 100 percent support." added board member Marion Barnes.

Dr. Bedden says he's ready to get to work right away, wanting to analyze data and make changes where needed, especially when it comes to spending. "We can't control the state and we can't control the Feds, now we have to figure out how to make two dollars out of every one."

He also wants to help the 30 percent of schools failing AYP by starting with changes to math and special ed programs, vowing tangible improvements will be made by the end of this initial three year deal.
" I will work hard to do what's right for children and in the end hopefully that will translate into he's doing a good job."

Dr. Bedden's contract is for $185,000 a year, that's $102,000 less than former Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke who made $287,000 a year at the end of his tenure.

The average salary for a school district superintendent is about $74,000 according to salary.com. In Columbia County, Charles Nagle makes $144,000. In Aiken County they are still looking for a Superintendent, but former Aiken Superintendent Linda Eldridge made $158,000 a year.

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