There's no question that losing Superintendent Gary Mathews to retirement before he has a chance to finish his five-year plan is going to cause a disruption in our district's forward progress.
However, we believe that disruption needs only be brief if the elected school board makes a fairly speedy and wise decision in finding his replacement.
We need a school system leader who is capable of continuing the slow, but steady momentum the schools have been making under Mathews' stewardship.
We surely don't need to hire someone who wants to come in and reinvent the wheel, but we also don't need someone who's coming in with the idea that he's going to coast into retirement. Mathews seemed to strike a good balance with his measured progressiveness.
The past year has not been a kind one for a school board that has experienced dissension and distrust and a sharp downgrade in public perception. However, we believe that each of the members has the abilities needed to help the school system, but they need to step up and show some courage.
We join many officials in the belief that Newton County is on the verge of an economic renaissance, but in order for us to see that become a reality, everyone needs to have confidence that our school system is up for the challenge of churning out the high-quality workers of tomorrow.