AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Since the sudden resignation of Dr. Sean Alford, members of the Aiken County Public School System want their next school leader to fit the needs of students. Parents and educators expressed to the board; the next superintendent needs to focus on recruiting and keeping teachers, and student discipline.
“Those are the things that we know we need to concentrate on,” said Aiken County Board Member Keith Liner. “We need to find a leader that can help us in those particular areas.”
It’s been about six months since Dr. Alford resigned from the position. Now the public has a voice in choosing the perfect candidate.
“Integrity was one of the personal characteristics that stood out,” said Liner. “We want someone with a high degree of integrity. All those qualities are what you want in a person.”
The board asked nine survey questions about the standing in the school district and what qualities should the next superintendent have. One parent says the superintendent needs to possess tactical skills.
“We need somebody who knows how to get it done,” explained Kristin Beard. “Someone who knows what the research tells us about the best ways to deal with the challenges in our district.”
However, people say what needs to change immediately is how the school system handles recruiting and keeping its teachers, as well as disciplining the students.
“We have children who have all types of crisis that we don’t understand at home,” said Beard. “It spills out in the schools, and those children act up, but they don’t need detention or suspended; they need to be supported and helped.”
The parents at the public input hope that the board will take their concerns seriously, as they decide who will be in charge of Aiken County Public Schools
“I think we heard pretty clear, we need someone who is going to be a disciplinarian and have a strong discipline policy,” explained Liner.
Keith Liner adds the board will discuss Aiken County’s discipline policy in the next board meeting later this month. He says after Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s input, they will begin the search process.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins