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Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Bibb County Schools hires associate superintendent to ‘oversee schools, school leaders’

Fulton County Schools
Tamara Candis

The Bibb County Board of Education hired a metro Atlanta district leader for the newly created position of associate superintendent in a split vote at its regular monthly meeting Thursday evening.

Tamara Candis, who most recently was one of seven “zone” superintendents for Fulton County School District, was hired as associate superintendent in a 5-2 vote with board members Daryl Morton and Kristin Hanlon voting against the measure and board member Thelma Dillard absent.

The board added the business item approving Candis’s hire to its agenda following a meeting behind closed doors that lasted more than an hour.

Candis’s employment comes less than a month after the board approved creating the central office position of associate superintendent in a split vote at its March 21 meeting.

According to the job description advertised by the district, the associate superintendent is “responsible for the overall supervision of the district’s schools and school leaders.”

Superintendent Dan Sims described the newly created job as “the missing piece” that will help the district navigate issues across the district and at the school level.

The new position was initially expected to cost the district $300,000 because it also included an administrative assistant, according to information presented in ongoing budget work sessions. The plan for an added administrative assistant was nixed during the closed-door meeting before the final vote, multiple board members told The Macon Newsroom.

Sims said Thursday night he was unsure of the salary for Candis but said it would be at the executive-level.

A draft organizational chart for the district’s central office positions Candis on the same tier as deputy superintendent Katika Lovett and executive officer Nelson Render, both of whom Sims worked with at Atlanta public schools, where he was most recently one of five associate superintendents.

Morton and Hanlon voted against creating the associate superintendent position when it was approved in a 5-2 vote at the March 21 meeting. Board member Lisa Garrett was absent.

“I think the money needs to be spent in the classroom and I’m not really sure how this position addresses those needs,” Morton said after the position was approved at the meeting Thursday.

Hanlon said she might feel differently if the new position had been proposed after the budget was finalized. The board still has a third budget work session to complete before it approves the final fiscal year 2025 budget.

“If we were finished with the budget season, I might have a different perspective on the matter,” Hanlon said after the meeting.

School board chairman James Freeman said he views the superintendent’s job as that of a CEO who is focused on building the district’s reputation and relationship with external stakeholders and business partners.

“He needs someone whose job is focused strictly on those next-level internals,” Freeman said. The new position “gives us more uniformity in a better way because we have more focus on the schools specifically.”

Board member Sundra Woodford said the associate superintendent position “is needed and it is critical right now.”

“We are making some decisions that are in the best interest of our students and the district, given all the challenges we have right now,” Woodford said.

The board also voted to hire Ethelstine Lett as assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. Lett most recently worked as a principal for Fulton County Schools, Sims’ professional stomping grounds.

Also at Thursday night’s meeting, the following roles were approved:

  • Precious Jones, assistant principal at Bruce Elementary School
  • Carla Glanton, assistant principal at Heritage Elementary School
  • Tina Harrison, assistant principal at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
  • Kristie Gordon, assistant principal at Porter Elementary School
  • Derick Thomas, assistant principal at Southfield Elementary School
  • Timothy Deas, assistant principal at Vineville Academy of the Arts
  • Kimberly Crowder, assistant principal at Williams Elementary School
  • Keywon Harvey, assistant principal at Miller Magnet Middle School
  • Amber Lamar, assistant principal at Central High School
  • Allison Walker, assistant principal at Westside High School
  • Apeksha Mehta, secondary math coordinator
  • Keturah Reese, science coordinator
  • Latricia Gittens, deputy chief of police

To contact Civic Journalism Fellow Laura Corley, call 478-301-5777 or email [email protected].

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