'As the community is aware, at the beginning of this school year, Dr. Debbie Hamm assumed the position of interim superintendent of Sumter School District. She took on this huge responsibility within only a few days of teachers and staff returning for the 2017-18 school year and about two weeks before students reported for another academic term. Without missing a beat, Dr. Hamm opened the new academic term with a message of encouragement and empowerment. Under her leadership, schools opened on time and without any major issues. The district has truly benefited from her very strong background in, and dedication to, public education.
"Over the past four months, board members have been impressed with the smooth transition under Dr. Hamm's leadership. She has outstanding administrative and people skills. The board has been asked by many to see if Dr. Hamm would like to stay on. We also believe the district would benefit from having a leader with Dr. Hamm’s track record for an additional year. The board has listened to its constituents, including students, employees and parents while, at the same time, considered how best to go about finding and employing a new superintendent.
"With this backdrop in mind, the board voted this evening to retain Dr. Hamm in the role of acting superintendent for the 2018-2019 school year. In that way, she will be able to continue to assist the board and administration in ensuring that our school district’s instructional program, finances, long-range planning facilities, etc., are on sound footing, so when a new superintendent is employed, he or she will be able to hit the ground running. The board will begin its search for a new leader in the fall of 2018.
"My fellow moard Members and I ask that the community continue to support Dr. Hamm’s efforts to ensure that our students receive the best possible education. We will continue to keep the community updated as we begin our search for a superintendent of the highest caliber who will lead Sumter School District into the educational future our students so richly deserve.
-- Rev. Daryl F. McGhaney, Board Chairman
Debbie Hamm will remain acting superintendent of Sumter School District through next school year, officials voted Monday night.
After coming out of executive session behind closed doors about 10:45 p.m. Monday, the district’s Board of Trustees voted to keep Hamm – its interim superintendent since Aug. 1 – with the district through the 2018-19 school year.
In its decision to retain Hamm’s services for another school year, the board noted that under her leadership the school district has begun to make significant progress in the areas of finance, instructional programs, long-range planning and facilities.
Hamm was originally hired in late July to serve as interim superintendent for just this school year and through June 2018 after former superintendent Frank Baker retired effective July 31.
This story will be updated.
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