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Superintendent Wilson gets 2-year contract add-on, no further raise
Charles Wilson web
Superintendent Charles Wilson

Twenty months before Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson’s contract would have expired, the Bulloch County Board of Education last week extended it by two years, through July 2024, without any additional pay raise during the added 24 months.

Wilson will still receive a 2% raise next July, as promised in his previous three-year contract. That contract, signed Aug. 2, 2018, began Aug. 1, 2019, and remains in effect until July 31, 2022. It called for an annual evaluation of his job performance but only required that the board notify him by Dec. 1, 2021, of its intent to renew or not renew the contract.

After the open-door work session that began Thursday evening’s meeting, the board went into closed session. Members had already unanimously accepted Wilson’s list of recommendations for other employment actions before voting to go into the closed-door discussion, which he did not attend.

A county school board convening in closed, or “executive,” session without the superintendent present often signals that members are reviewing the superintendent’s job performance.

“We are recommending that we give Superintendent Wilson a two-year contract extension effective at the end of his current contract,” Chairman Mike Sparks announced when the board returned open session. “There will be no change in the terms of the contract, his current contract or salary increase. All of the stipulations in his contract will be the same.”

District 1 member Cheri Wagner made the motion, and District 7 member Heather Mims seconded it. The vote was five “yes,” two “no” and one abstention. District 4’s April Newkirk and District 8’s Maurice Hill were the board members who voted against the motion.

District 5 member Glennera Martin did not raise her hand for either “yes” or “no,” and Sparks in his vote count noted that Martin had abstained.

She had not been present previously during the open session in the cafeteria at the William James Educational Complex but arrived and joined the other board members soon after they started their closed-door discussion in another room.


‘Unprecedented challenges’

After the contract vote in open session, the board adjourned.

“I’m very thankful to the board for having the confidence in me and supporting me,” Wilson told the Statesboro Herald. “We have built a good team and we have faced very unprecedented challenges even in this past year. We have core people working together, and to be able to lead good people and to be able to serve this community and to be able to provide the momentum to move our district forward is an honor.”

Wilson’s contract now lasts until July 31, 2024. The previous contract, in effect since Aug. 1, 2019, provided a salary of $180,356 the first year, which was a 2% increase over his previous pay. That contract also provided for a 2% increase this July, to $183,963, and a 2% raise for the year beginning July 2021, to $187,643.


No further raise

It is for the two years after that, through July 2024, that the extension provides Wilson job security but no pay increases. A clause apparently to be carried forward from the previous contract states that “the superintendent shall not be entitled to receive any additional salary increases received by teachers and administrators in the Bulloch County School System.”

“It means more to me to be able to give what I have in this community that’s invested in me and help lead this community forward in uncertain times and carry some of the good work that we’ve established forward,” Wilson said. “That’s what’s most important to me.”

This calendar year has brought spring’s COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, summer’s forecast of effects on the school system’s finances and fall’s quarantine-challenged return to school. During Thursday’s work session, staff members gave an update as the schools prepare for a second semester continuing with an at-home virtual learning option as well as in-person classes.

Sparks said that the board wanted to address Wilson’s contract early in order "to provide stability and direction for the school system moving forward in the COVID-19 era,” according to a news release provided Friday by Hayley Greene, Bulloch County Schools public relations director.

“We feel he is doing a good job,” Sparks said in the release.


His 25th year

First confirmed in the job at a July 19, 2012, board meeting, Wilson has now begun his ninth year as superintendent. In 2012, he had been one of 33 applicants.

But he previously served 16 years as the school system’s finance director, concluding with the title assistant superintendent of business and finance, and so has worked 24 years in executive positions with the school system.

A certified public accountant, Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Citadel and a master’s degree in business administration and a specialist’s degree in education from Georgia Southern University.

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