The Bulloch County Board of Education voted 6-2 last week to confirm a two-year contract extension with a 2.5 percent raise each year for Superintendent Charles Wilson.
“I would like to at this juncture inform you of something you already know, but want to do it publicly, and that is … that our superintendent has signed his contract … and I would therefore like to recommend that we ratify his signed contract,” Dr. LeVon Wilson, the board chairman, told the other members.
This happened in a very brief series of public votes, after a brief closed-door session to discuss personnel actions, held after the regular May 28 open meeting.
District 5 member Glennera Martin made the motion, which District 7 member Mike Herndon seconded, to ratify the extended contract. Cheri Wagner of District 1, Chairman Wilson of District 3, Steve Hein of District 4, and Jimmy “Jay” Cook of District 6 also voted in favor.
But District 2 member Mike Sparks and District 8 member Maurice Hill voted “nay.”
Offer from May 6
Seven of the eight board members had met in closed session May 6 and reviewed Superintendent Wilson’s performance for the year. Afterward, he was offered the two-year contract, which picks up where his previous contract would have expired in July 2016 and extends to July 2018.
Wilson signed the new contract May 15. But no reporters or public attended the May 6 meeting, and some board members who were asked afterward said they did not know whether an official vote had been taken.
So the May 28 vote served to clarify.
Details of Wilson’s contract had already been reported. His salary was rising to $165,000 for 2015-16 under the previous contract. The 2.5 percent raises in the new contract will make his pay $169,125 for the 2016-17 school year and $173,353 for 2017-18.
Sparks, when asked about his vote Thursday night, noted that Wilson’s current contract still had one year to run.
“I just felt like, he already had a contract and he should have honored that, and I was not for an extension or a raise,” Sparks said.
Hill, who had left the board headquarters by then, was not reached by phone calls Friday and Tuesday for comment.
On a separate, unanimous vote, the board also ratified contracts keeping 14 principals at their current schools for 2015-16. This followed a 4-3 vote two weeks earlier rejecting a recommendation list that included one change in the principal assignments.
After an extended closed session on May 14, the seven board members present had voted 4-3 to reject a slate of personnel recommendations, including all the principals’ contracts.
Other than Todd Williford’s resignation as Mattie Lively Elementary School principal for a job outside the school system, the one change Wilson had recommended was a transfer of Dr. Bonnie Gamble-Hilton from Langston Chapel Middle School, where she has been principal for five years, to be an assistant principal at Statesboro High School again.
By rejecting the list, the board kept Gamble-Hilton at Langston Chapel Middle as principal when all the principals’ contracts automatically renewed May 15.
Last week’s recommendation to ratify the 14 returning principals, including Gamble-Hilton, came from the superintendent.
He also brought back the voluntary personnel changes that had been on his May 14 list when it was rejected in bulk. These, including Williford’s resignation and also the retirements, resignations and appointments of teachers and other personnel, from cooks and custodians to a psychologist, were unanimously approved.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.