HAMLET — Dr. Cindy Goodman was sworn in as Richmond County Schools’ interim superintendent Tuesday morning. Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel administered the oath of office.
Daniel said Tuesday marked the first time she has sworn in a superintendent, and she believes Goodman is a perfect fit for the job.
“I’ve heard nothing but good,” Daniel said. “I think it’s been a long time coming, and she’ll do a fine job.”
The brief ceremony took place in the school system’s central office boardroom at 8 a.m., marking the official kick-off to Dr. George E. Norris’ retirement and the beginning of Goodman’s temporary term with about two-dozen people in attendance.
Goodman’s husband, state Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, held a Bible for his wife as she placed her left hand on it, raising her right hand to recite her oath.
The new superintendent said immediate concerns for the district include finalizing a budget as soon as the state passes one, and finding educators to fill the classrooms for the upcoming school year.
“We’ve got some hiring to do,” Goodman said. “We’ve lost some teachers, some we’ve lost to retirement and some have relocated, so we’ve got some teachers to hire. At this point I don’t have an exact number, but I know that statewide the numbers (of vacated teaching positions) are up. Our numbers seem to be about typical for Richmond County Schools, based on my experience.”
Some North Carolina teachers have left the state to work in other parts of the country where salaries are higher. In May, the Houston Independent School District made local headlines by actively recruiting teachers from the North Carolina to Texas. During a Raleigh job fair, the Houston school district offered contracts to at least 30 teachers. Other teachers are venturing into Virginia and South Carolina.
Goodman said that the only losses of teacher assistants have been through attrition due to retirement, and that those numbers were low this year.
“We tend not to lose teacher assistants,” Goodman said. “One of the things we’re really hoping is that the General Assembly will protect our teacher assistants.”
The N.C. Senate on Monday rejected a spending bill sent forward by the House without voting on it, doing so on the grounds that the budget is not balanced. The House bill, heavily education-centric, would have put the state out of fiscal balance in terms of Medicaid and social programs, according to Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca.
Ken Goodman said he is proud of his wife and the work she has done for North Carolina public schools through the years.
“I know I’m prejudiced,” he said. “But I have seen up close how well she works in education, so I think she’s going to do great. I hope the job becomes permanent. We’ll find out soon, I hope. It’s up to the board and I’m sure as soon as they do their due diligence, they’ll make a good decision.”
Cindy Goodman’s term is scheduled to end when a permanent superintendent is selected and takes the oath of office or on June 30, 2015 — whichever occurs first.
The salary of the interim superintendent will be “based on an annual salary of $138,000 pro-rated for the time Dr. Goodman actually serves as interim superintendent,” according to a statement from Mallory Brown, public information officer for Richmond County Schools.
Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-997-3111, ext. 15.