05/21/10 — Duplin OKs new chief for schools

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Duplin OKs new chief for schools

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on May 21, 2010 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- The Duplin County Board of Education voted Thursday to hire a new superintendent for the county schools.

Dr. Austin Obasohan will take over running the 9,000-student system July 1.

School board Chairman Reginald Kenan and members Emily Manning, Willie Gillespie and Chuck Farrior voted in favor of hiring Obasohan. Jennings Outlaw and Hubert Bowden voted against the motion to hire the administrator, saying that they believed there were better candidates for the position.

Kenan said the board conducted a "very extensive search" for the superintendent and called for the community to support Obasohan.

"It is important to realize, is there a perfect person? No. We all make mistakes. Let's help each other. Let's give him our Duplin County support," he said.

The county will hold a reception to welcome Obasohan June 2 at 7 p.m. in the Duplin Commons building.

Duplin County citizen action group, Citizens for the Children and the Checkbook, released a statement welcoming the new superintendent on a hopeful note.

"As a proactive group concerned with the future educational and financial needs of our school system, we are encouraged that Dr. Obasohan will bring his expertise in leadership, performance and innovation. His concepts of school leadership, school improvement teams and systematized school and business partnerships will be a driving force in creating a positive atmosphere," the statement read.

The school system began searching for a new superintendent when its current administrator, Dr. Wiley Doby, announced last November his decision to step down after his contract expires June 30. The North Carolina Association of School Boards assisted in the candidate search process.

Obasohan stepped down Wednesday from his position as superintendent of Selma City Schools in Selma, Ala., when he also announced his decision to come to Duplin County.

He will bring more than 28 years' experience as a teacher, principal and superintendent when he steps into the role. According to biographical information on the Selma City Schools web site, Obasohan lived in North Carolina from 1990-2008, working at schools in the Cabarrus County school system.

Obasohan earned his master's degree and educational specialist degree from Virginia State University and his doctorate from Appalachian State University. He and his wife have three school-age children.

Obasohan is expected to earn slightly more than the $128,000 he was paid in his last position, according to a source.