Charles Wilson stood next to his son and daughter in the courtroom at the Bulloch County Courthouse.
As his 18-year-old son, Chas, and 14-year-old daughter, Sam, held the Bible, Wilson placed his left hand on it and raised his right hand.
He repeated the oaths of Georgia and Bulloch County, as administered by Probate Judge Lee DeLoach. And with that, Wilson, 45, was sworn in, officially and legally, as the superintendent of Bulloch County Schools.
“It meant a lot to me that my kids were able to be here,” Wilson said afterward.
The school board unanimously selected Wilson as the system’s superintendent July 19 after naming him the only finalist from 33 candidates last month. Wilson succeeds Lewis Holloway, who left to become the superintendent of the Starkville, Miss., school system.
Also Thursday, the school system released Wilson’s contract. Under the two-year agreement, which expires July 31, 2014 unless renewed, Wilson will receive a $135,000 annual salary plus supplemental pay. He will be entitled to any salary raises given to teachers and administrators, but schools spokeswoman Hayley Greene said there have been no such raises since a 2.5 percent increase was given in September 2008.
Holloway was making $165,150 when he left Bulloch County; he signed a four-year contract in Starkville that pays him $175,000 a year.
Wilson has spent his first week on the job, which officially started July 20, getting to know the teachers and staff at schools. Before the brief ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Wilson visited four schools. He plans to stop at all of them before students return for classes next week. All schools will hold open houses Monday, and the first day of the new school year is Wednesday.
He also does not want to be a stranger.
“I do plan to get out in the schools often” during the school year, Wilson said. “The purpose of this is to meet everybody during the preplanning and preparation time.”
He also said the superintendent’s job came open at an opportune time. Leading a school system had not been a goal when he signed on to be the district’s chief financial officer. But recently, Wilson said he had started to consider other career options because he felt his growth potential as assistant superintendent of business and finance was limited.
“Over time, I developed an interest,” he said. “Look what is going on in the world. People are having to do more with less every day. Someone in the process, we’re falling behind. My profile, my background, tends to be to look for solutions. I had been in the school system for 16 years and in the community for 18 years. It was the perfect storm for me to go for this position when it became available.”
Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.