Search moves forward for next DCSD superintendent

Diane Sigmon speaks to DCSD board members about the completed one-to-one initiative. Photo by Melissa Rollins

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

The search for Darlington County’s next superintendent is well under way, according to consultant Dr. Rainey Knight. Results from the district’s superintendent survey were presented by Knight during the school board meeting Dec. 11, as was an update on the timeline for the search. The survey was intended to find out what characteristics people in the district and in the community wanted to see in their next superintendent.

The survey was available on the district’s website and was sent to all district staff, churches, barbershops, beauty parlors and chambers of commerce. The open period for responses was Oct. 23-Nov. 17. Though the survey was available for thousands of people, only 672 completed surveys were received.

Nearly 50 percent of the responses were from teachers. Less than 100 parents filled out the survey; five students returned surveys.

The survey indicated that the top five characteristics that respondents wanted to see in the next district leaders were Strong Communicator, Putting the Needs of Children First, Ability to Work with Diverse Groups, Know How to Plan and Manager District Budgets, and Has Worked with Schools to Improve Test Scores.

The characteristics deemed least important by respondents were Has a Doctorate, Lives in Darlington County, and Has Worked as a superintendent/assistant superintendent.

Knight said that around a dozen applications had been submitted for the district’s top spot.

“I will say that (potential applicants) are watching Darlington,” Knight said. “I’ve had people say that they are reading the paper and they have contacts in Darlington. I say that just to say that this is a superintendent’s market, meaning that they can pick and choose. There are more vacancies than there are really high caliber people that I would want to see in Darlington. Just like we tell principals to support their teachers…boards have to support superintendents.

In other business, the board made a motion to approve requests for property from the City of Darlington. Boardmember Connell Delaine made the motions; they were approved unanimously.

“I move that we deed property on plat of survey prepared by Ryan R. Magnus dated September 29, 2017 containing 3.19 acres referred to in our discussions as the Swift Creek Property to the City of Darlington conditioned upon the city assuming any and all costs associated w/repairing of the waterline extending from St. Johns to Brunson Dargan.”

The second motion read:

“I move that we transfer two tracts of land as shown on plat of survey prepared by Ryan R. Mangus dated November 14, 2017, said tracts being designated on said plat as tract one containing 10.50 acres and tract two containing 2.79 acres referred to in our discussions as BA Gary Property to the City of Darlington upon the City of Darlington’s payment of the sum of $150,000. This motion also to include a provision that if and when any portions of Magnolia Street are to close as a public street, the City will grant an easement to the Darlington County School District for ingress and egress from the BA Gary School complex—said easement to be at least 30 feet in width and to lead from the point of closure of Magnolia Street to the parking areas located to the east of the BA Gary School Complex, additionally this easement will be used for access by emergency responders to the School. This motion also carries with it a provision that when the school is in session a portion of the parking area closest to the school property will be reserved for school use—the exact location and number of parking spaces to be agreed upon at such time as the parking lot has been constructed. Finally, this motion provides a provision that the School District has final approval of where signage is to be erected by the City.”

During the Digital Transformation update, Director of Technology Diane Sigmon told the board that on Nov. 30 the district had completed its one-to-one initiative, handing out its last devices to students. Sigmon said that the one-to-one initiative will change the way that students learn and teachers teach. She said that the technology department would have to keep an eye on their bandwidth going forward and determine what their needs are to accommodate all of the devices now on the network.

Author: Duane Childers

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