Columbia Co. superintendent finalist ready for budget, overcrowding challenges

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email
Dr. Sandra Carraway (WRDW-TV)

Dr. Sandra Carraway (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Nov. 27, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- Columbia County Schools are one step closer to naming a new leader. On Monday, the board named Dr. Sandra Carraway as the lone finalist to replace retiring Superintendent Charles Nagle at the end of the year.

She's prepared to take on budget cuts, overcrowding and the future of the system.

"I'm very proud to be a part of this school system and honored to potentially lead it," said Dr. Carraway.

"Very pleased that the board recognized her abilities. The board does know Dr. Carraway, she's done an exceptional job," Superintendent Nagle explained.

With 27 years of education experience, Dr. Carraway says she's prepared to tackle things like budget cuts and doing more with less.

"Funding is the biggest challenge that we have. We have cut our budget to the point of -- we're kind of saturated and I'm not sure how much more we can do," she said. "Our options are very limited: larger class sizes, a shortened school year, those are terrible things that are not good for students, they're not good for teachers."

A jump in enrollment has also led to overcrowding and new schools. Construction on a new Columbia Middle School will help with crowded and portable classrooms at Grovetown Middle School.

"We don't want classrooms in portables, we need students in buildings with technology and all of the things that they can have in a building that they can't have in a portable classroom," Carraway said.

The Harlem graduate says expanding technology is also a key.

"I do think with technology there's a lot of things out there that we can do, bring your own technology, just wireless technology and interactive boards in classrooms. Things that we're already touching upon that we need to expand," Carraway said.

She's already looking toward the future.

"We have a five-year plan, a 10-year plan, already we're looking to the 2017 E-SPLOST," Carraway said.

That 2017 E-SPLOST will likely head to voters in 2014 or 2015. It would help fund more new school projects, like a new Harlem Middle School, and new elementary schools to relieve crowding.

It would also go toward the Lakeside High School Athletic Complex partnership with the county government. The board will vote on Carraway's new position on Dec. 11.

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