During a special called meeting of the Macon County Board of Education last Thursday, the board announced that Franklin High School Principal Dr. Chris Baldwin has be named the next superintendent for the school district.
Baldwin said he was humbled by the opportunity and excited to have the chance to serve.
“It’s a great responsibility,” said Baldwin. “I pledge to do my very best for our students and our schools, because there is no better school system, or better place to live than Macon County. I thank the school board for their confidence in me.”
Board of Education vice-chair Jim Breedlove made the motion to approve Baldwin's contract and said, “When we started the search, one of the pledges I made to people is that we’d find someone that understood us, had our best interest at heart, and would take us to a better place,” said Breedlove. “I have no doubt that the person we selected can do exactly that.”
Macon County native Baldwin, 44, began serving students in the school district in his home community of Nantahala as a principal and teacher at Nantahala School. After long-time principal Gary Shields retired, Baldwin became the principal of Franklin High School, where he has served for the last two years.
According to the contract approved by the board, Baldwin will officially begin his role of superintendent on July 1, 2013 and will be paid $105,000 annually through the span of June 30, 2017.
Over the next few months, Baldwin will work closely with Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan to facilitate Baldwin’s transition and to allow time for a new Franklin High School Principal to be selected.
Breedlove noted that while selecting the next superintendent was the most important task the board has faced, replacing Baldwin as principal will be the next most important.
The search for the new superintendent began in June after six-year superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman announced he would be leaving to take a position in Catawba County.
In June, the board unanimously voted to hire the North Carolina School Board Association (NCSBA) to assist Macon County in hiring the new superintendent. NCSBA, who was the same organization that first assisted Macon County in the hiring of Dr. Brigman in 2006, worked with Catawba County in their superintendent search which lead to Dr. Brigman's resignation with Macon County and relocation to Catawba County.
Macon County contracted with NCSBA at a cost of $14,000 plus all travel expenses for NCSBA to attend monthly school board meetings during the search process as well as expenses for potential candidates that will occur during the interviewing process. Leanne Winner with the NCSBA reported to the board that expenses would not exceed $20,000.