Savannah-Chatham's new school superintendent's on the payroll, just in time for the new school year. The board of education voted six to three to hire Dr. Thomas Lockamy on July 1. Yesterday, board members unanimously approved his contract.
We still have to see how well everyone is going to work together, but Chatham County's new superintendent and board members are all pledging to work together.
"I'm very excited about the work that has to be done and the challenges before us and I'm committed to involving the community and the students in the work that has to be completed," said Dr. Lockamy.
It was only a month ago that the board hired him in a split vote. Six board members voted for Lockamy, while three chose Dr. Donnie Evans. But today, all say they want to move ahead.
"The ultimate goal is to get the whole school board to work together with Dr. Lockamy and move the school system forward," said board member Gloria Edwards.
"We feel like even though we got through that vote we stand behind him," said fellow board member Lori Brady. "He is the CEO of the school district and he is the manager of the school district and he has a good record on achievement."
A record Dr. Lockamy is eager to prove in Chatham County. "The academic standards must be raised, not only the academic standards, but the way the students look and act and behave in the community in which they live," he said.
And he says the time is now. "The community and the people are ready for change, and that's one of the first ingredients you have to have, the readiness to move the district forward."
Dr. Lockamy's three-year contract will pay him $175,000 a year as well as an additional $4,800 a year for business expenses, and paid membership in a civic organization. The deal will also provide him with a late-model car and cell phone, paid health insurance, $15,000 in moving expenses and a temporary housing allowance of $2,000 a month until he finds a house in Chatham County, plus a $15,000 annuity.
Doctor Lockamy still has to be officially sworn in to the position of superintendent. That's expected to happen sometime in the near future.