Local News

March 15, 2014

Dalton school system chief’s contract extended

— The Dalton Board of Education unanimously voted to renew Superintendent Jim Hawkins’ contract as head of Dalton Public Schools for another three years.

Despite the 5-0 approval, one board member asked to delay the vote.

Hawkins, the system’s superintendent since 2009, will be a crucial component when discussing the growth of the school system as it addresses overcapacity concerns this year, board chairman Danny Crutchfield said. The system has increased from 5,659 students in 2003 to about 7,700 students today, filling halls and classrooms to capacity, particularly at Dalton Middle School and Dalton High School.

An un-elected committee of school and community members the board of education created in January is reviewing several solutions — including a new school — and will bring a recommendation to the board in September.

Board member Steve Laird motioned Monday night to “bench” the contract renewal until after the committee made an official recommendation, but didn’t receive support from the other board members. The motion died for the lack of a second.

 “The logic there, as I told the group, is that we are looking at critical plans right now,” Laird said. “This decision will impact our community for 20 to 30 years. It’s long-reaching. My motioning to table Jim’s contract renewal wasn’t a reflection on Jim. It was more of, we know this is coming up, let’s get that done and then go in and extend the contract.”

Laird said tabling the contract discussion till after “major decisions are made” would have “put the focus on achieving one goal (getting a solution to overcapacity) while we work on normal goals.”

“If it doesn’t get done, if we are not able to accomplish this, if we run into challenges, then that would be a shame,” he said. “Would that all be his (Hawkins’) fault? This was just an encouragement for him. That was my logic.”

Crutchfield said “the rest of the board felt those priorities are clear and we can hold Jim accountable” without having his contract on the line.

“I am proud of our board contending with each other,” he said. “We are better when we do that. And it’s fair to Jim. We have very high expectations for him. He has very high expectations for himself.”

Laird emphasized that there was “no one person who is saying Jim is not the guy for the job of superintendent.”

“This was just my way of putting that out there: that everyone in the room, board and superintendent, need to put ultimate importance on (capacity),” he added. “I’m pretty comfortable that we are going to get this done successfully.”

The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2017. His annual salary remains at roughly $164,000 a year plus a yearly car allowance of $12,000. It’s “exactly the same” as his last contract, which was approved in 2011, according to several board members.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014