By Alex Goble
The Pickens County School Board held a meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25, in which Superintendent Ben Desper’s contract was renewed in a unanimous 5-0 vote. The vote took place following a private executive session that lasted for much of the meeting.
All five members of the board (Wendy Lowe, Byron Long, Ervin Easterwood, John Trammell and Dan Fincher) voted in favor of extending the contract.
The executive session lasted a little over an hour and included the two incoming board members (Mike Cowart and Peggy Andrews) who will take office in January.
According to Wendy Lowe, the board’s chair, Superintendent Desper wanted to be assured that he had a position in the future if he decided to stay on as superintendent instead of retiring, because there are incentives right now for him to retire early.
“We think he’s headed in the right direction and we don’t want to go on a superintendent search right now,” said Lowe, reinforcing the board’s confidence in their choice.
Superintendent Desper said he is pleased with the vote that will allow him to continue working with education in Pickens County. “I appreciate the opportunity that the school board has given me to work with the students of Pickens County and also appreciate the confidence they have placed in me by giving me a renewal on my contract,” he said.
The contract was renewed through June 30, 2014.
The public portion of the meeting consisted entirely of discussion on what kind of deal the board might offer to the City of Jasper for use of the green gym at Jasper Elementary outside of school hours. No agreement has been made as of yet.