Muscogee County School Board approves two new directors

The Muscogee County School Board meets Nov. 14, 2016, in the Muscogee County Public Education Center.
The Muscogee County School Board meets Nov. 14, 2016, in the Muscogee County Public Education Center.

In identical 7-0-2 votes with two abstentions Monday night, the Muscogee County School Board approved the hiring of a transportation director and a director for a new program to help students from military families.

The board approved Superintendent David Lewis’ recommendation to hire DeKalb County School District transportation supervisor Herbert Hill, who was stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Benning for five of his 22 years in the military.

As a transportation supervisor, Hill reports to the director and is responsible for part of DeKalb’s department, roughly equal to Muscogee’s entire department, MCSD human resources chief Kathy Tessin told the Ledger-Enquirer.

According to his resume, Hill has more than 20 years of experience in transportation/logistics management, although he lists only 16 years of work experience. Before becoming a transportation supervisor in DeKalb in July 2013, he held the following positions in the U.S. Army: a fleet manager at Fort Irwin, Calif., from January 2012 to September 2013 (those are the dates on his resume, despite overlapping with his DeKalb employment across the country), a transportation coordinator at Fort Bragg, N.C., from February 2011 to January 2012, an operations manager at Fort Bragg from July 2009 to February 2011, a management training instructor and military initial entry training instructor at Camp Casey, Korea, and Fort Knox, Ky., from July 2005 to July 2009, and a section supervisor at Fort Benning from July 2000 to July 2005.

Hill earned a master’s degree in organizational management from Ashford University in 2015. His resume doesn’t list a bachelor’s degree.

Hill is replacing Liberty County School System transportation director John Lyles, a former Columbus TV newscaster who resigned from the MCSD job the day after the board’s 5-0-2 vote to hire him.

According to last week’s work session agenda, the vacancy was posted Sept. 22 through Oct. 14, attracted 10 applicants (two from MCSD) and three candidates were interviewed (none from MCSD). The interview team members were Tessin, operations chief David Goldberg and regional chief Ron Wiggins.

MCSD administrators said during last week’s work session that the district has approximately 300 buses and five supervisors reporting to the transportation director, Hill oversees 55 buses in DeKalb, and no MCSD supervisors applied for the director’s position.

Military support program

A month after the board accepted a $1.5 million federal grant over five years to fund a project designed to increase support for military dependent students’ social and emotional well-being, the board approved the project’s director.

Darlene Register, who has served MCSD in a part-time capacity as the military student coordinator, will be the part-time director of the district’s Military-Connected Academic and Support Program, funded by the grant.

According to the agenda, Register is a 33-year educator, including spending between 2011-2015 with the Department of Defense Education Activity.

During the vote Monday night, board members John Thomas of District 2 and Frank Myers of District 8 abstained from approving the two new directors. Thomas and Myers repeated the reason they have given before votes on other high-level positions during their two years on the board: They said they don’t have anything against the candidates, but they are objecting to the administration not allowing board members to meet the person they are being asked to approve.