Duplin County superintendent does not pursue new contract
By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on November 13, 2009 1:46 PM
Duplin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Wiley J. Doby resigned from his job this week amid a flurry of protests from parents and concerned citizens.
"I'm relieved that it's over, and I hope we can get things moving in a more positive manner," said Violet Goodson, member of the North Duplin Junior/Senior High School Association. "We can get past all this distrust and fighting."
Doby read a statement of resignation late Tuesday night at the end of a four-hour Duplin County Board of Education meeting. The board voted to accept his resignation and voted to start actively searching for a new superintendent at the end of his contract term, which ends this year.
"We are well-pleased with the board's decision to address the situation, and we think it's a good time to clean up the destruction Dr. Doby has created in the school system," said Karen Scalf, member of the Concerned Citizens for Duplin County Education.
Ms. Scalf was one of about 250 people who attended the meeting, protesting against Doby and the school board. It was the second such showing from the concerned citizens group, who also staged a protest before the Duplin County Board of Commissioners' meeting on Nov. 2. The group does not plan to disband, Ms. Scalf said.
"Hopefully we'll continue working with the Board of Education to address any issues that come up," she said. "We just want to make sure the children are first in education system and they are able to utilize all benefits.
"It reassures me that the Board of Education is definitely putting our children first."
Doby refused to comment further on the issue.
"I decline to be interviewed," Doby wrote in a statement Thursday. "Instead, I am sending this statement."
"At the Duplin County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, I stated to our Board that I do not intend to seek an extension to my employment contract which expires June 30, 2010. I feel very good about the progress we have made in all areas in the Duplin County Schools," the statement said. "I appreciate the team effort and hard work of my staff, principals, teachers, and all employees of our school system. Without their true dedication, our progress would not have been possible. I appreciate the opportunity given me by the Board of Education to be the superintendent in Duplin County."
Doby was hired as the school superintendent in 2006 when his predecessor, Dr. Tommy Benson, announced in 2005 his decision to retire. During his three years as superintendent with Duplin County Schools, Doby saw a number of contentious issues pass before the board, including the 2008 lawsuit against the Duplin County commissioners that is currently in the appeals process in the State Court of Appeals.
The school board must next turn its focus on beginning the process to find a new superintendent.
The Duplin County Board of Education is charged with electing the new superintendent and with supporting the superintendent in the discharge of the office's duties based on the description of duties. The board must elect school personnel based upon the superintendent's recommendation and consider or act on recommendations from the superintendent in regard to the building needs of the school system.
While local systems are responsible for the hiring of a superintendent, the North Carolina state Board of Education has guidelines for hiring of a new superintendent, a spokesperson with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction said. At a minimum, each candidate considered for the position must have served as a principal at another school in North Carolina, present at least a minimum of required credentials and satisfy relevant experience requirements and certification. Other, similar minimum requirements may be set by the local board of education during the search process.
The state also set forth standards for school superintendents, including definitions and information on strategic leadership, instructional leadership, cultural leadership, human resources leadership, managerial leadership, external development leadership and micropolitical leadership.
Duplin Commissioner Zettie Williams said she had only heard of the resignation Thursday night and declined to comment on the issue.
"I don't have any comments to make at this time," she said. "I've not seen any official information on that."
There was no official announcement regarding Doby's decision posted to the Duplin County Schools Web site by press time.
The next Duplin County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.