COPE -- A split Orangeburg Consolidated School District Four Board of Trustees named Dr. Tim Newman, the district's assistant superintendent of human resources/public relations, as the new superintendent on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old Newman will assume the position July 1 following the retirement of current Superintendent Brenda Turner on June 30.
“I’m ready to serve the OCSD 4 communities and their children," Newman said in a prepared statement. "We have great challenges ahead, but we also have great students, parents, teachers and staff to meet those challenges. We’ll do this together, side by side.”
Board members voted 4-3 for Newman. Trustees Randy Carrigg, Mary Brant, Aaron Rudd and William Q'Quinn voted for Newman. Chairwoman Peggy Tyler, Joseph Garvin and Linda Huggins voted against.
Specific terms of the contract will be worked out later, including whether Newman will serve as interim or long-term superintendent. A decision could made at the next board meeting, district attorney Andrea White said.
"I think he would be the best candidate to lead us forward based on the financial situation we are in right now," Carrigg said. "He has some educational background but he has the financial background also."
The board’s decision came after a 1-1/2 hour closed session. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Shirlan Jenkins was the other candidate considered.
Tyler said while she has no problem with Newman, she felt Jenkins 'has proven herself as a leader” over the years she has been with the district.
"We have overlooked her for a number of years," Jenkins said. "I thought she would have been given a time to be our superintendent. She has been here as long as I can remember and she does her work."
Tyler said the majority of the board decided to hire within in an effort to reduce expenses.
"I agreed to that," she said.
White said, "The board decided to go with an internal candidate rather than someone external. With the school year starting July 1, the board felt like it was important to go ahead for continuity so the staff is not anxious and nervous with Ms. Turner's departure."
"The big thing was to get someone on board -- somebody who knows the district, is familiar with what is going on structurally, HR wise and finance wise," White said.
Newman said, "I really want to help our students succeed in the classroom in every way that I possibly can.”
Newman said he will look at both state standards and new testing protocols and “build a curriculum model that makes sense for Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4."
"I am surrounded by very talented people and we have very talented teachers in our schools," he said.
Newman said a budget plan has been crafted that will be presented to the board next month. It will make the district much stronger in years to come, he said.
Last month, the board agreed to hire a forensic auditor to ensure that district funds were spent on education-related purposes and no violations occurred. OCSD 4’s external auditor informed trustees in December that the district had to pull $807,000 from its fund balance to cover a deficit from the last fiscal year.
After four years at the helm, Turner announced her retirement earlier this month so she can spend more time with her ailing mother.
Turner was hired by the district in April 2011 to replace Tom Sparks. She came to OCSD 4 from Pickens County where she served as assistant superintendent of instructional services.
Newman arrived to the district in 2011 from the Pickens County School District where he served as executive director of operations, maintenance and technology services. He also served as high school administrator and a classroom teacher.
Newman has a bachelor's degree in finance with a minor in accounting from Clemson University, a master’s in Economics from Clemson University, a master’s in educational administration from the University of Alabama, an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from South Carolina State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from S.C. State.
Newman has served as president of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators Human Resources/Personnel division.
Prior to entering public education, Newman was in the retail sector for 17 years, working for the Macy’s and Belk chains.
Newman and his family live in the OCSD 4 attendance area and both his wife and daughter are teachers in the district. The Newmans' son will be graduating from Edisto High School this year.
Contact the writer: email@example.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD
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