Despite opposition from Newton County Board Chairman Eddie Johnson and District 4 representative Almond Turner, Samantha Fuhrey was chosen to take over the position of Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, which is being vacated by Dr. Ken Proctor in April.
Johnson and Turner expressed concern with what would essentially be a promotion, agreeing that the position should be advertised like any other and allow applicants to put their name in the hat as well. At the request of District 1 representative Jeff Meadors, Superintendent Gary Mathews explained that promotions such as this (Fuhrey currently works alongside Proctor and is familiar with the position and requirements) are not against the school system's policy and are, in fact, quite commonplace. He cited the promotion of former Superintendent Steve Whatley who stepped in at the retirement of former Superintendent Wendell Clamp, and that of Dennis Carpenter, Deputy Superintendent for Operations, whose position morphed with that of Deborah Robertson when she retired.
"The school system could opt to go outside for a Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction or could opt to elevate someone whom I believe to be a logical and highly competent choice - someone who is already doing the work alongside teacher leaders, counselors, assistant principals, principals, directors and others," said Mathews.
In the end, while Johnson and Turner remained opposed - though both said they held Fuhrey in the highest regard - the other three members of the board voted to allow Fuhrey to step into the position on April 16.
The board also voted to promote to assistant principals to principals in the coming school year.
When longtime principal G.W. Davis retires from Mansfield Elementary this year, current AP Lynne DiNardo has been named to step into the position. Similarly, at Eastside High School, current principal Dennis Roddenberry has announced his plan to retire at the end of this year and AP Jeffrey Cher has been named as his successor.