‘Just getting started’: School board extends Newman’s contract

By Bobby Bryant, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

The Darlington County school board has extended Education Superintendent Tim Newman’s $180,000-a-year contract through June 2022.

In a unanimous vote Dec. 9, the board gave Newman a “satisfactory” evaluation for the 2018-19 school year – his first at the district — and renewed his contract. The board has held executive sessions over its past few meetings to talk about Newman’s contract.

“I feel honored that the board has expressed confidence in the direction that the district is moving,” Newman told reporters after the board’s vote.

“I’m very encouraged because we’re just getting started with many good opportunities in the Darlington County School District,” he said. “ … I think this year was an excellent year for the district, but it’s just a start.

We fully anticipate great things for the Darlington County School District moving forward.”

School board Chairman Warren Jeffords of Lamar explained: “There are seven areas of evaluation of the superintendent, from relationships with staff, the community, leadership, finance and goals for the district.

Dr. Newman exceeded or met expectations in all categories, especially strong in community relations, business and finance and personal traits.”

Jeffords listed several things Newman has accomplished: Enrollment has risen at the Darlington County Institute of Technology; county schools have gone to a “block” scheduling plan; an apprenticeship program has begun; the school district made a “positive hire” with Larry Johnson, assistant superintendent for administration and operations; and there’s a good relationship with the Darlington County legislative delegation.

“He had a successful first year,” Jeffords said. “We’re looking forward to continued improvement in the years to come.”

Newman receives an automatic 4 percent pay raise under the budget plan the board approved this past summer – all full-time school district employees were slated for at least a 4 percent pay boost. During his contract talks, Newman made an arrangement so that the district will contribute 5 percent of Newman’s salary to an annuity of his choosing as long as he keeps getting good evaluations.

In other business during last week’s board meeting:

— The board honored Mia Braddock, a 5th-grader at Spaulding Elementary School, for winning the district’s annual Holiday Card Art Contest. Her illustration is on the school district’s holiday cards for this year. The district will award the student $50, and her art teacher, Dee Driggers, will receive $100 for art supplies for her school.

— The board honored three students who have earned a place in the S.C. Music Educators Association All-State Chorus. They are Dean Gerald, Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology; Hannah Rudick, Hartsville High School; and Leland Saxton, Hartsville High School.

— The district received a “clean” audit on its general operations from auditors WebsterRogers that found no significant “material weaknesses” and only a few minor issues.

— The board approved a $250 net Christmas bonus for school-district employees.

Author: Stephan Drew

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