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Superintendent gets new contract

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Middlesex County Public Schools superintendent Rusty Fairheart

by Larry S. Chowning

The Middlesex County School Board voted unanimously Monday night to give county school superintendent Rusty Fairheart a new four-year contract, which begins July 1, 2009 and ends June 30, 2013.

Fairheart’s current contract would have ended on June 30, 2011. This contract was nullified (effective July 1) so a new contract could be approved. 

In awarding a new contract, school board member Jim Goforth said the board wanted to show a vote of confidence in the job that Fairheart has done in the Middlesex County School System.

“We did not feel this was a good time to give anyone a raise,” said Goforth. “But, we wanted to let Mr. Fairheart know we felt he is doing a good job and we are so glad that he wants to continue as superintendent of Middlesex County Schools.”

Fairheart was hired in August 2007.  He replaced interim superintendent Harriet K. Dawson, who had replaced Dr. Oliver Spencer, whose contract was not renewed in December of 2006.

Commenting on Fairheart, assistant school superintendent Rashard Wright said he has never worked with an individual whose attitude is coupled with “humility and greatness.”

Fairheart thanked the board for its vote of confidence. “I’m very glad and proud to be working in the Middlesex County School System,” he said.

According to state law, the board was required to vote to terminate Fairheart’s current contract and then appoint him to a new term, since termination created a vacancy in the office.

“It seems like a strange way to have to do this, but it’s the law,” said Goforth.

Goforth made the motion to award Fairheart with a new contract. Dr. Richard Shores seconded the motion, and the entire board voted for it.

In other matters, the board:

  • Voted, after a closed session, not to renew the contracts of the school system’s Director of Technology, and Food Service Manager. Fairheart noted the central office currently is being restructured to replace the responsibilities of the Director of Technology.
  • Accepted the resignation of Justin Ranson, the MHS band director, who lost his job due to budget cuts. Ranson had been offered the position of MHS choral director, but he has joined the U.S. Marines and will play in the Marine Band.
  • Accepted the resignation of a second grade teacher at MES, and the retirement of William (Billy) Jackson, who has been a custodian in the county school system for 37 years.
  • Voted to appoint Dr. Shores as the voting member at the Virginia School Board Association’s annual convention on November 18-20.  Board member Elliott Reed was named an alternate.
  • Voted to approve a list of fees for the upcoming school year that are unchanged from the current year.
  • Voted to approve a special education advisory committee charter and bylaws.

posted 06.03.2009

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