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Warren County school administrators to retire

WARRENTON, Ga. -- Two well-known administrators with the Warren County School System announced their retirements during a brief executive session that followed the regular school board meeting Monday night.

School Superintendent Carole Jean Carey, who has served in that capacity for the past eight years, is one of them. The other one is Fran Kelley Hutcheson, the school system's finance director, who has put in 31 years on the job.

Neither of them have any desire to depart from the school system, though.

Instead, they want to be rehired at a little less than half of what they are being paid now -- 49 percent.

Mrs. Carey said with further cuts anticipated within the current school year, she and Mrs. Hutcheson had decided to retire. She pointed out that their joint decision would save one teaching position during the remaining school term and two teaching positions in the school term of 2011-2012.

Warren County Board of Education Chairwoman Gwendolyn Tucker and fellow board members unanimously accepted the retirements of Mrs. Carey and Mrs. Hutcheson.

School board members, however, did not address whether they would be rehired at the 49 percent rate they have requested.

Mrs. Tucker and BOE Vice-Chairman Randy Morris will serve as special committee members to look into the proposal. The two school board officials will study the issue with school board attorney Mike Dishman. The study will include a review of their contracts, as well.

A special called school board meeting is expected to be held in a few weeks to officially vote on the proposal.

Already one personnel change has been announced regarding the school superintendant's position.

Nancy Moak, who currently serves as assistant school system superintendent, will serve as interim superintendent during the month of December.

In other business:

School board members voted unanimously to rescind action taken by three former school board members back in July to have taxpayers foot the bill for legal action brought against them. Those three former members included Clara Roberts, Cecil Brown and Dr. Charles Culver.

Mrs. Tucker and Mr. Morris voted against the school system paying their legal costs.

The three later were ousted from their elected positions by Gov. Sonny Perdue following legal proceedings brought against them by a group of taxpayers in Warren County. They were dismissed from office earlier this year on issues of discriminatory hiring practices and ethics violations.

Mrs. Tucker said the action taken by school board members on Monday night was in accordance with parliamentary procedures. She said current school board members could rescind action previously taken by former school board members.

Current school board members indicated they wanted to rescind the action because it was unethical for them to have voted for self-gain and because the previous school board violated their own motion to have full board approval before acting on the school board's behalf regarding the issue.

In another matter, Mrs. Carey announced that the school board recently received a ruling regarding a federal civil rights complaint filed against her and the school board earlier this year by David Myrick.

Mr. Myrick filed the complaint May 11, contending that the school superintendent and board of education members took discriminatory action in regards to the reduction in school system personnel.

Mrs. Carey said she received a letter from officials with the Federal Civil Rights Commission informing her and school officials that commission members had found no evidence to support Mr. Myrick's claim.

(Donna Branch is news director of radio station WTHO fm and WTWA am in Thomson. )

Web posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

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