The Effingham County School District is governed by a five-member board responsible for setting system-wide school policies designed to deliver the best possible education to each child with a vision for continuous improvement of academic performance. As the chairman for the school board, this newspaper has asked me to respond to the board’s recent decision to reimburse Superintendent Randy Shearouse for a portion of the tuition he has incurred while pursuing his doctorate degree.
In lieu of a raise, the Effingham County Board of Education did approve adding an advanced education reimbursement to Superintendent Shearouse’s benefit package. The $20,000 supplement will cover part of the superintendent’s tuition as he completes his pursuit of a doctorate degree in school administration.
It is not uncommon for school systems or businesses to assist leaders with education-related expenses because the knowledge they attain is used to help increase performance and achievement. The school board sees this as an investment in the present and future success of our education system.
Mr. Shearouse is qualified to serve as the superintendent of schools with a master’s and education specialist degree plus a two-year endorsement from the superintendent’s professional development program. The school board felt, however, that by investing in his pursuit of a doctorate degree, it would serve to keep him and the school system up to date with technological and governmental changes in the field of school administration. And in order to consistently offer our students a quality education, we must be aware of the most current trends in education and stay ahead of the curve as changes are made at the federal and state levels.
The school board’s job is to make decisions that result in doing what’s best for the children in our public schools. We take that job seriously and encourage all concerned parents and citizens to do the same by attending school board meetings, school council meetings and PTA or PTO meetings.
It is only through personal involvement that one can see and understand the full impact our professional educators and educational programs are having on students.
Lamar Allen is chairman of the Effingham County Board of Education.