The Henry County Board of Education has been making big changes in the lives of the member of its community. On Tuesday, June 27 it was announced that Dr. Timothy Gadson would be the sole finalist for the superintendent position since this announcement the board has given the community a chance to input their questions and concerns at four open forums the first of which town place at the county office on Friday.
“I’m excited about the opportunity. I think this is where I want to be and if the board appoints me then I’m going to be excited,” Gadson said after the open forum on Friday.
It is clear that the residents of Henry County are invested in education and the lives of their students; this was seen Friday night at the open forum. The parking lot of the main office in McDonough was completely filled and participants were asked to write questions on index cards to be read during the Q&A session of the meeting.
“I believe in children, I believe in this community and I’m aspired to be a superintendent,” Gadson said during his introduction on Friday.
At the beginning of his college career, Gadson had no intention of becoming an education professional, but after encouragement from the Dean to minor in education and unforeseen situations that left him without a job after college he found teaching and fell in love. From there he became grew his career in education and now he has experience in many different states with counties of all shapes and sizes.
“The bug bit me there. I said ‘you know what? I really like this, I can do this short of that ‘money thing.’ I realized that teachers touch their futures every day and that inspired me,” Gadson said.
One of the biggest concerns of residents seemed to be that Gadson would not be staying very long based on the fact that he has been in five different jobs in the past ten years.
“I’ve done my research and I’m happy you’re here. I’m still not convinced that if something more lucrative came along… How can we be assured you’re going to stay?,” Dr. Kimberly Gail Disario said while addressing Gadson during the open forum.
“I am committed to being here. I don’t know how to change your mind other than I am giving you my word that this is what I have aspired to do and if appointed the board is helping me to accomplish the goal that I set a long time ago. This is where I want to be,” Gadson said.
Gadson has made it clear that he plans to be a very present figure if appointed to ensure that everyone can be heard and he can improve where improvements are needed.
“It is important for us to listen to the people who are providing the funds for us to provide the services for students so being visible, inviting our community members out to town hall forums where we’re listening to what they’re sharing,” Gadson said.
Many people were also concerned about the finalist because of a small incident in Atlanta. Gadson was under investigation for a cheating scandal while there, however, this was not the headlining cheating scandal that happened in 2009.
“The Atlanta investigators investigated the allegations against me and found that there was no wrongdoing. Over my 23 years one situation where there was an allegation people are holding on to that and saying that something must have been going on,” Gadson said.
Gadson has an impressive resume and according to him one of his past bosses claimed that he could do most in a year than most men do in five years.
The current Superintendent Rodney Bowler has been a resident of McDonough for much of his life, Gadson, however, has moved from state to state and has never lived in McDonough, so the town forums allowed residents to meet Gadson and after the 14 day waiting period the board will meet again to decide whether he will be our next superintendent.
Update: The HCBOE has just rescinded their contract offer to Timothy Gadson. The search for the next superintendent will start anew.