Below is an interview conducted via e-mail with Superintendent Ben Desper over the weekend. Click here for previous coverage of his retirement announcemet.
Obviously your announcement came quickly and after your contract had been extended. What prompted the change of direction?
I began to think about retirement in October of last year when the state offered a retirement incentive to those state employees who had over thirty years of work experience. The board of education was very generous to make contract changes to provide me an incentive to stay, however, now is really a good time in our family for me to make this change. I am very excited about beginning a new chapter of my life.
The demands and the rewards of this job are great, but your family must always come first. Along with spending more time with my family, I want to have the time and freedom to pursue some interests that I have had to put on the back burner for a few years.
The budget process has been somewhat contentious, but it appeared that you were near the end of it. Did issues that arose during it play any part in your announcement?
For Dr. Desper's answer to this and several other questions regarding the Pickens County School System, see this week's print or online edition.