School Superintendent: A smoother transition

Superintendent Dorsey will continue to serve, at his current salary, for six months after Oldham steps into the superintendent position on July 1, to help smooth the transition.


Dr. Daniel Oldham, left, is congratulated by current Stephens County School Superintendent Bryan Dorsey during the signing ceremony on Jan. 8 where Oldham was officially announced as the next Stephens County School Superintendent

At a called meeting Wed., Jan. 8, the Stephens County Board of Education, with a unanimous vote, approved the appointment of Deputy Superintendent Daniel Oldham as Stephens County School Superintendent for a three-year period, to begin July 1. According to the signed contract, Oldham will receive an annual salary of $140,000 plus benefits.


As of July 1, Bryan Dorsey, who has served as Stephens County School Superintendent since May 1, 2014, will transition to the position of project specialist, and will serve out the remaining six months of his contract – through February 2021 – in that position. He will retain his current salary and benefits package for the duration of his contract. Dorsey’s compensation, under his current contract, is $130,000 annually, plus benefits and $1,650 per month to cover expenses.


A review of Oldham’s and Dorsey’s contracts are provided at the end of this article.


ConnectLocal.News spoke with Dorsey and Stephens County School Board Chair Rod Moore on Thursday, Jan. 16, about the transition plan.


Dorsey’s new position will be “an advisory role as well as a professional development type role,” Moore said. “Mr. Dorsey has been a principal, and held just about every position in a school, at one time or another. We feel there is a lot that he can offer as far as development, with administrators and other projects, and we also have the construction project that is ongoing."


“What we started looking at when we started looking at me retiring was getting someone ready,” Dorsey added. “When you are running a $40-$50 million annual organization, just throwing the keys at them seems like a poor plan.”


Recent, and upcoming, changeover in leadership positions within the school system, along with major infrastructure projects currently underway, makes stability and planned transitions even more important, Dorsey said.


“The fact that we have a $7-$10 million project that would not quite be done yet, that was a part of our discussion when we started talking about how to transition me out,” he explained. “And we recently lost Teri Powers … and our special ed director will be retiring, and our testing director is probably within a year of retiring – so we’re about to see literally hundreds of years of experience walk out the door.”


Dorsey and Moore said that they did not foresee any effort to fill the deputy superintendent position – which is currently held by Oldham – once Oldham steps into the superintendent position.


“That would not be my call at that point in time,” Dorsey said, “but I don’t think there is any intent to have that position filled any time soon, or at all, and I think the assistant superintendent would be staying in his same role. That is my assumption.”


“We do need to give him (Oldham) some time to figure out what positions he wants to surround himself with to support him in his role,” Moore added.


As for the Project Specialist position that Dorsey will be transitioning to on July 1 when Oldham takes on the superintendent position, Moore said the position would probably not be filled once Dorsey’s contract ends in February 2021.


“One of the things I’ve told the board and Dr. Oldham is that, if things have progressed and we’ve got enough of those bigger projects off his plate, I might ask to be removed from my contract even sooner (than February 2021),” Dorsey added.



Facts & Figures


Contract: Daniel Oldham – Superintendent of Stephens County Schools

July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023

Annual Salary: $140,000

$800/month stipend “to defray expenses incurred as a result of travel within the school district.”

School system to pay for lodging and meals while traveling outside the school district on district business.

School system to pay for membership in professional organizations.

Salary increases in annual salary equal to any percentage increase in the district’s minimum salary schedule.

Sick leave and vacation and all other benefits as other twelve month administrators are entitled to.

“The Board shall evaluate and assess in writing the performance of the superintendent at least once a year during the term of this contract.”

“While the superintendent’s contract and salary is based on a 220 day work year, he will be compensated for extended year at his daily rate of pay for any additional days that he works during any fiscal year covered by this contract up to a maximum of 10 additional days per year.

The board will pay, on behalf of the superintendent, the employee’s portion of any contribution to the Teacher’s Retirement System.

“The contract may be renewed, extended or renegotiated at any time by mutual agreement of the parties... The Board may unilaterally terminate this contract without cause upon payment to the superintendent a severance pay, the amount equal to twelve months of salary or the remaining amount of such salary due under contract, whichever is less.”


Contract: Bryan Dorsey – Superintendent of Stephens County Schools

Feb. 27, 2018 to Feb. 27, 2021

Annual Salary: $130,000

$700/month stipend “to defray expenses incurred as a result of travel within the school district.”

School system to pay for lodging and meals while traveling outside the school district on district business.

$400 per month supplement to defray expenses incurred in connection with personal technology expenses at home or in the office, associated with the business of the school district.

$550 per mont to defray membership costs in professional organizations.

Sick leave and vacation and all other benefits as other twelve month administrators are entitled to.


Contract: Sherrie Whiten – Superintendent of Stephens County Schools

July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015

Annual Salary: $120,000

School system to pay for out of pocket expenses while traveling on district business.

Sick leave and vacation and all other benefits as other twelve month administrators are entitled to.


Payroll Record Data:

Deputy Superintendent – Daniel Oldham

Certification Level 7 – Years of Credible Service – 19

State Base Pay - $74,825

Local Supplement - $2,245

Extended year compensation – 38 days/$14,965

Extended day compensation administrative supplement - $45,965

Total annual salary - $138,000

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