BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - The Beaufort County Board of Education has selected Dr. Frank Rodriguez to be their new superintendent of schools.
The school board meeting was supposed to get started around at 6 p.m. Tuesday after their executive session. They were so torn on their decision that the public waited for an hour for the decision and the meeting to start.
As residents waited for about an hour, everyone started to wonder if the board would even make a decision Tuesday night, but the 11-member board voted 6-5 to select Dr. Rodriguez as the new Superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. Residents took note of the torn vote.
“I would have preferred that it would have been more definitive one way or another. It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t," said Hilton Head Island resident, Luana Graves Sellers.
“Dr. Rodriguez now knows that five board members didn’t support him, they supported the other guy, so I think that’s unfortunate for him," said resident, Richard Bisi, HHI.
Rodriguez will be accepting a huge plate when he comes on-board, but what exactly is he inheriting?
“A challenge. A big challenge.”
Along with an achievement gap and teacher retention rates, Bisi says the November referendum will be one of Rodriguez’s biggest challenges, especially following two failed referendums in the last five years.
“New superintendent is going to be coming on board July 1. They are only going to have a couple of months to prepare to get out there and sell the referendum to the public. That’s going to be tough.”
The chairwoman of the board said this decision was clearly not easy as they debated in executive session for nearly three hours.
“We welcome Dr. Frank Rodriguez and look forward to working with him and to improve all the students academic achievements here in Beaufort County,” said Christine Gwozdz.
Despite the rocky meeting, residents agreeably are looking forward to working with the new superintendent.
“Hopefully, he will hit the ground running and kind of shake things up so that we are not doing business the way that we’ve done in the past.”
It’s not official just yet. The job offer is contingent upon successful contract negotiations with Rodriguez. We’ll continue to update you on this story.