Superintendent top finalist revealed

“He was the best fit for the qualities we developed based on the surveys. He had the characteristics we wanted,” said Dr. Susan Sockwell.

The Lumpkin County Board of Education went from 42 applicants to six to a single finalist for the post of Superintendent of Lumpkin County Schools. 

In a called meeting on Monday night, board members voted unanimously to extend a contract to Dr. Robert W. Brown.

Brown most closely matched the profile developed through the public and employee surveys, board members agreed.

“He was the best fit for the qualities we developed based on the surveys. He had the characteristics we wanted,” said Dr. Susan Sockwell.

“We looked at the surveys and compiled the data and went for that, what the people and the teachers wanted,” said Craig Poore. “Additionally, we wanted someone who would connect with the community.”

Brown’s introductory letter stated his objective in seeking the position was “to serve effectively as a school system and community leader.”

His resume confirms his involvement in communities where he has served. 

Brown has been a member of Rotary and Kiwanis clubs; served on the boards of the chamber of commerce, Family Connection and Board of Health; and as a volunteer coach. 

He has also been involved in churches where he has lived.

Lynn Sylvester made a pro and con list in making her decision. “Nothing came up con,” she said. “He is also very strong in the financial area. He’s done well with the budget where he is and I think he will spend our money wisely and be able to face the challenges we have with a shrinking digest.”

“As Superintendent of Jeff Davis County School System, Dr. Brown led a number of cost-saving initiatives that improved the district’s financial position,” said Board Chair Bobby Self. 

“I was really impressed with the quality of the people who applied. Any of the six we chose to interview could have been our superintendent,” said Jim McClure. “The board discussed it, but Dr. Brown didn’t get any ‘no’ votes. There were no negative comments about him.”

Brown currently serves as the superintendent of the Jeff Davis County Schools in South Georgia. 

He has held positions as middle school and high school teacher/coach, high school assistant principal and principal, executive director of high schools and superintendent of schools. He has been in the field of education for 20 years.

In Brown’s initial letter to the BOE, he stated “My leadership roles have included service in both small and large school systems in both rural and metro areas ... in both school and system leadership roles ... expanding my understanding of the differing challenges.”

Brown holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama.

He earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Jacksonville State University, a B.S. in Physical Education & Health from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. and a B.A. in Psychology from the same institution. 

Brown has been married to his wife Betsy for 17 years. The couple has one son, 15-year-old Keller.

The board and county attorney will begin working on a contract, spelling out the details of Brown’s employment. It expects to offer the contract to Brown later this month, Self said.

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