A campaign promise made by three school board members was fulfilled on the night of the 19th February when Bryan County School Superintendent Sallie Brewer was voted out of office by the school board. Jeff Morton, Charlie Johnson, and Dennis Seger (all first termers who were elected to the school board on the campaign promises to remove Dr Sallie Brewer) along with Board Chairman Eddie Warren voted for the dismissal almost three quarters of the way through the school year.
The cost? A quarter of a million dollars. Considering the cost of locating, interviewing and hiring a new superintendent and the cost is going to be much higher. This is an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money. Mortons response? According to The Bryan County News (21 Feb) he stated the change was worth it as the system has a $50 million budget! Sounds like this board member is going to be an excellent steward of taxpayer money! Dr Brewer has had perfect evaluations and worked for the Bryan County school system for more than 30 years.
The common grievance against Dr Brewer is her apparent “lack of interest in extracurricular activities”. Cited by one resident was her refusal to allow the Richmond Hill band go to Washington. Other citizens complained about sports activities. Of course, with these gentlemen the fact Bryan County’s graduation rates increased by 17.7 percent, a jump from 64 to 82 percent in five years from 2002 to 2007 would mean nothing apparently. In 2008 Bryan County was one of 18 systems that scored a high graduation completion rate in the state according to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. (Cite) Which is more important in their minds? A good solid education or extracurricular activities? They stated where their interests lay…….and the interests of the constituents who voted them into office for the purpose of removing Dr Brewer.
Now, these gentlemen, in deciding to stage this coup, determined no input was required from the audience in attendance. According to WTOC, “People don’t usually line up for Bryan County Board of Education meetings, but Thursday night they did so they could have say about the board buying out the superintendent’s contract, but from the start the board didn’t want public debate. They voted against it, saying it’s a personnel issue.”
I have to agree with board member Mary Warnell who stated, “This is driven by personal agendas, egos and fulfillment of campaign debts.” Warnell went on to say, “I’m disappointed and I am deeply ashamed in the lack of integrity demonstrated by these board members.”
OK gentlemen, the ball is in your court. According to first term board member Charlie Johnson, “…but there are a lot more opportunities for our children that are not being looked at.” Well, Mr. Johnson, here is your opportunity to look at all those opportunities for our children. Just what were they again? You never really said. You fired an excellent administrator in a manner that was less than honorable. It is now your responsibility to find a superintendent that will be superior to Dr Brewer for the same amount of money. But hey; at least you fulfilled your campaign promises!
Best wishes to Assistant Superintendent John Oliver who was appointed to replace Dr Brewer until a replacement is found.