My name is Tom West. I have lived in Newton County for nearly 45 years and am a retired accountant. The following is my take on the candidates for superintendent:
Every morning I read the Athens Banner Herald, so I am very familiar with Ms. Price’s current employer, the Athens/Clark County School System.
In the latest statewide test, their elementary schools scored 75.5, middle schools scored 78.2, and high schools scored 67. As you know, statewide averages were elementary, 83.4; middle, 81.4; and high schools, 72.6. Newton County scored elementary, 79; middle, 77; and high schools, 77.1.
Thus Ms. Price’s school system scored considerably under both state averages and Newton County in the latest test.
Athens/Clark County School System spends $11,621 per student, which is significantly higher than either Newton County or the average for the State of Georgia. This would be fine, but as you can see from the above numbers, they are not getting their money’s worth. Last year when ACCSS had to cut their budgets, they cut teachers and para-pros rather than fat from the central office.
Due to the above performance and lack of superintendent experience, I think that Ms. Price lacks the skills to successfully manage a system as large as Newton County.
I like the fact that Mr. Light has many years of superintendent experience, but wonder how long it will take for him to adapt to the Newton County School System. Like Ms. Price, his "Doctorate" is from a for-profit "university."
I have never met Ms. Fuhrey but know a number of teachers and administrators who believe that she is a good fit for Newton County. I am concerned that if she becomes superintendent, two key positions on her staff will be open.
To me, the risks of either Mr. Light or Ms. Fuhrey are about equal, so I’d avoid the relocation cost and hire Ms. Fuhrey.