Coweta County Schools

BOE moves to keep Barker in place

by Rebecca Leftwich

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Rebecca Leftwich

Coweta County Board of Education members Larry Robertson and Harry Mullins, left, hear a report from Assistant Superintendent Marc Guy during Tuesday’s meeting. In executive session, the board unanimously voted to enter into a new four-year contract with Superintendent Steve Barker, far right.

Dr. Steve Barker’s continued leadership is crucial during the school system’s years-long implementation of several initiatives, according to the Coweta County Board of Education, which voted unanimously Tuesday to keep its superintendent in place for another four years.

“Dr. Barker is a valuable leader and a strong supporter of the Coweta County School System,” chairman Winston Dowdell said in a statement issued Wednesday on behalf of the school board.

Tuesday’s vote – taken during executive session – effectively extends the superintendent’s term by two years. Barker was halfway through a four-year contract, which would have expired in 2014, and the new four-year contract went into effect Tuesday. Adopting the same terms as Barker’s previous contract, the board entered into the new agreement to “ensure continuity of leadership as the system enters into this critical period,” Dowdell said.

“Within the next three years, the school system will be involved in three long-range planning initiatives which are related and build upon one another, and which are critical to the future of our school system,” he said.

Ongoing work includes:

Creation and adoption of a new strategic plan to carry Coweta schools through 2019. The current plan is set to expire in 2014.

State-mandated selection of a flexibility option by 2015.

“This selection process will involve a written contract with the Georgia Department of Education,” Dowdell said. “(It) will establish significant goals and objectives for our school system, in exchange for greater flexibility from state rules and regulations.”

Renewal of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Coweta County already is well into its five-year accreditation cycle, with its next SACS visit due in less than three years.

Keeping Barker at the wheel is vital to the success of Coweta schools, the board chairman said.

“His professionalism and strong work ethic are evident in his day-to-day operations of the system,” Dowdell said of the superintendent.

“His loyalty is evident in all of his decisions, as is his commitment to the vision and goals of our school system.”



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