Carroll County Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Greg Smith has announced his acceptance of the position of Superintendent of Richmond County Public Schools effective July 1. Smith made the announcement as he tendered his resignation to the Carroll County School Board during Thursday nights meeting.
The resignation did not sit well with Carroll County School Board Vice-Chairman Reginald Gardner. During the March 13 meeting, Gardner made a motion to enter into negotiations with Smith per Smiths request, but the motion died for lack of a second. With Smith under contract until June 30, 2013, Gardner said at the time that he felt like Smith wanted the board to consider a contract renewal so he could get some assurances about his future with the county, particularly with a number of positions open across the state.
Gardner readdressed the issue Thursday following Smiths resignation.
This personnel report contains the resignation of our superintendent. To say that I am disturbed and frustrated by this would be an understatement. This could have and should have been prevented, Gardner said. I understand why our superintendent sought other employment as he clearly has not received the support of this board. I commend Dr. Smith for his work in Carroll County. His departure will be a loss to the Carroll County School System and its future. Dr. Smith, I wish you well.
The Carroll County School Board has already developed a timeline for the superintendent search. It will begin advertising for the position May 14 and has set June 8 as a deadline for applications. A public hearing for citizen input is scheduled for June 12, and the school board will interview candidates from June 18-25. A date of June 27 has been set for the announcement of a new superintendent.
Smith said Friday that as the new Carroll County School Board transitioned into office at the start of the year, it also took place during a time when superintendent job searches take place throughout the state. He said he felt like looking into other job possibilities was in his best interests.
The nature of superintendents contracts and superintendent job searches is that if you have a lack of certainty as to the security of your contract, then it behooves you to begin to look at other possibilities. Since the board was hesitant at the time to renew my contract and they wanted to push it back to the fall, that was one opportunity to secure future employment I couldnt pass up, Smith said. During the springtime from February to June is the window of opportunity to which school boards begin to search and look for new superintendent leadership, and I couldnt let that window pass me by. So once I began to circulate and apply for various vacancies throughout Virginia, I was blessed to find the needs out there to which I could fill for other school systems, and that is essentially how I was hired. There is no ill will or intent, thats just the timing of the nature of the business.
Smith said he feels like he is moving into a great situation with Richmond County Schools. Not only is there continuity within the school system, he is familiar with the area in the Northern Neck region of the state as he has been there on numerous conferences and on several fishing, boating and camping outings.
(My wife) Pam and I are thrilled. We have always found it to be lovely and the people wonderful. When this opportunity became available, it was just too good to pass up, Smith said. And it comes with an attractive compensation package or I wouldnt have moved forward. Richmond County is a community that is a type of community that Pam and I were looking for.
Smith said he was blessed to have other job opportunities ranging from public schools to higher education. In the end, he said he felt the Richmond County position was the best fit. His last day with the Carroll County Public School System will be June 30, but he said he will always have fond memories of Carroll County.
The school board gave me a wonderful opportunity in 2007 to come to this locality and make it my home. It certainly has been for the past five years and I have enjoyed every single minute, Smith said. Weve enjoyed some great successes here despite the financial crisis and the trying financial times, and its a credit to the professionals of this school system that theyve maintained the focus of doing whats best for the children of this county.