DECATUR — The school district in Beaufort County, S.C., is in some ways very different from Decatur.
Because of nearby military bases, a portion of the population is highly mobile. Incomes range from the very well-off Hilton Head residents to the very poor, some of whom live in houses with dirt floors, said Bill Evans, chairman of the district’s board of education. The 21,000-student district has grown so quickly that a number of new schools have been built in the past few years.
Four members of the Beaufort County school board visited Decatur on Tuesday to interview school personnel and community members about Superintendent Gloria Davis, who is one of two finalists for the superintendent’s job in their district. Evans said the board will meet Thursday and make a decision.
“We have to decide,” he said. “We can’t wait any longer.”
In addition to Davis, the other finalist is Jeffrey Moss, superintendent in Lee County, N.C. Evans, Evva Anderson, Mike Sanz and Michael Rivers visited Moss’ district Monday.
“What we try to do is get a sampling of the people who work in the district in different capacities,” Evans said. “To try and get some background other than what we hear in the interviews and what we see on paper.”
One thing Anderson wanted to know was whether a community group would form to ask Davis to refuse the South Carolina position and stay in Decatur, as they were told had happened when she was a finalist for the superintendent’s job in DeKalb County, Ga.
“We’ve had some nice academic growth in the last few years, and we’re looking for someone to take us to the next level,” Evans said. “Even with all our resources, and we think we’ve got a lot of resources, we’re still in the middle of the pack (in the state) with districts that look like us, and South Carolina doesn’t do that well academically. We think we could be doing much better than we do.”