Moss chosen for S.C. school job

Feb. 28, 2013 @ 08:45 PM

Lee County School Superintendent Jeff Moss has been named the Beaufort County (SC) School District superintendent — pending the completion of an employment contract.

According to The Island Packet newspaper, the Beaufort County School Board voted 9-2 for Moss on Thursday.

Moss said he was excited to be named the county's school system head candidate —  which has 30 schools and more than 20,000 students — and doesn't expect any problems during the negotiation stage.

"I hope we have a successful negotiation," Moss said. "I am looking forward to working with the board, the parents and the community members to advance their agenda."

Lee County Board of Education Chairman Lynn Smith said he was delighted for Moss and his selection is in recognition of his work in Lee County.

"If he decided to go, we will be greatly disappointed because he has done a suburb job," Smith said.

Lee County has been like a family, Moss said, and leaving will be difficult.

"Lee County has been a great place," he said. "I can't place into words the quality of teachers we have, the administrators, the parents and the business leaders. They have all been tremendously supportive of what we have tried to do."

Moss said he would start his new position on July 1.

Moss was selected as one of three finalists for the South Carolina job in early February and said he has family in that area. 

A flyer posting about the district's superintendent search, accessed through its website in early February, states that officials are seeking "an experienced leader" for its "diverse and fast-growing community of learners and educators" — comprised of more than 20,000 pre-k through grade 12 students within 30 schools.

The chosen candidate's salary would be in the range of $215,000 plus a comprehensive benefits package, according to the flyer posting, which lists an extensive array of traits the new superintendent should have, including "leadership skills required to respond to the challenges presented by an ethnically and culturally diverse community" and "successful experience in sound management practices, including appropriate participation of others in planning and decision-making."

A synopsis of Moss's professional background on the Beaufort School District's website notes his appointment to his present Lee County position in January 2009 — as well as his prior experience as as superintendent of Beaufort, N.C. County Schools and Stanly County Schools. Also listed are a number of his accomplishments while in Lee County — including the 1:1 laptop program for students in grades 3-12, creation of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math middle and high school initiative, and expanding access to foreign language learning in grades K-12

"Under his leadership, the district’s graduation rate has risen dramatically and the dropout rate has fallen, especially among minority and economically disadvantaged students," the synopsis states. "He has served on the state superintendent’s Career-Ready Commission, chaired NCASA’s committee for performance pay, the Gates Foundation Pre-K-14 project planning board, and was instrumental in the development of the Head of Class Project, an incentive pay plan for teachers and staff funded through the Lee County Education Foundation."

Herald News Editor Jennifer Gentile contributed to this report.