It's official: Charles Wilson is the Bulloch County schools superintendent.
After an hour and 45 minutes in executive session, the school board emerged and unanimously approved naming Wilson, who has guided the school system's finances for the past 16 years, as the district's new leader.
Wilson, 45, succeeds Lewis Holloway, who left to become superintendent of the Starkville, Miss., school district.
Before adjourning, board Vice Chairman Mike Sparks thanked Fran Stephens, the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for grades six through 12, for her service as interim superintendent. Stephens had served in the interim role since May 26, Holloway's last day leading the Bulloch County system.
"She did a very good job in transition," Sparks said. "She is probably very glad it's over with. We appreciate all of her efforts in communication and maintaining stability for the school district."
Stephens nodded enthusiastically and smiled when Sparks said she was glad her interim role is over.
After the meeting, an excited Wilson laid out a broad vision for his tenure.
The immediate priority is getting the schools ready for students to walk through on the first day of class, which is less than two weeks away.
But a longer-term goal Wilson has is establishing a strategic plan and defining the school system's core values - something that hasn't been done in recent years.
That is important, Wilson said, because every short-term decision can be measured against the core values.
"This would help us, for example, determine whether arts and music are important, or whether smaller class sizes or larger class sizes are important to us," he said.
It will be a long-term process, possibly taking about a year, but will establish a firm foundation for the district once it is done.
"I know, when people hear about a strategic plan, they think it's boring and something that will get put on the shelf and sit there," Wilson said. "That's not what will happen. We will use this to inform every decision we make."
Wilson was the only finalist the board named during its June 28 meeting after receiving 33 applications.