News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, June 25, 2013
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's the beginning of a new era for the Columbia County School System.
Dr. Sandra Carraway was officially sworn into office at a board meeting Tuesday night. Carraway is taking over for Charles Nagle after his six years in office.
Hugs and applause filled the room as Carraway finished her oath of office.
She says the best piece of advice she received for her new position came from her predecessor.
"Tommy Price, when he handed the position to Mr. Nagle, he said to Mr Nagle, 'Do no harm,' and that's been kinda a running, I will say joke, but there's a lot of truth in that."
She says she expects to face many challenges, from finances to integrating new technology in schools.
"The biggest challenge there is meeting the needs of students. And today students learn best by smartphones and iPads and iPods," Carraway said.
After the swearing-in, she got right down to business leading her first board meeting, which didn't come without its drama.
Supporters of Greenbrier Coach Chris Wilkins, who was fired earlier this month for allegedly mishandling concession stand funds, showed up in an attempt to clear his name.
"This has all really blown up," said Robyn Kelley, whose son was on Wilkins' team. "Coach Wilkins, he was coaching third base, he wasn't handling the dollars."
Kelley and three others were at the meeting to speak for Wilkins, but with no action taken, the discussion continued back to issues at hand, from new school buildings to proposed mileage rate hearings.
Carraway had this to say about the position the school system is in now, "We have weathered this storm relatively well. Very few furlough days for teachers, a full 180-day calendar for students, and when two-thirds of the school systems across this state can't say that, we are very blessed."
Carraway has worked in the education field for 27 years, spending her most recent years as an assistant superintendent. She says she's ready for the job and was very excited to begin this next step.
One of the things they discussed Tuesday night is the public hearings they will have on the mileage rate.
The proposed mileage rate hearing dates are: