Sumter district board to meet about superintendent search


Sumter School District's Board of Trustees has announced it will have a meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. on its upcoming search for a full-time superintendent this school year.

A district staff member sent out an agenda for Thursday's work session to the media Monday.

Board Chairman the Rev. Daryl McGhaney has said previously the trustees will discuss qualifications and criteria they are looking for in a new superintendent at the work session.

Debbie Hamm, a longtime employee and former superintendent of Richland School District 2 in Columbia, has served as interim superintendent of the district since Aug. 1.

In all likelihood, Hamm will complete this school year with the district while the board conducts its search for its next full-time superintendent. Superintendent searches can take up to six months, according to various sources, and often whoever is selected will finish out the school year in his/her respective school district before moving on.

The trustees unanimously voted Hamm as interim superintendent on July 24, shortly after then-Superintendent Frank Baker announced his retirement on July 18, effective for July 31.

The board and Baker mutually agreed at the time it was in everyone's best interests for him to retire after eight months of turmoil after the revelation in December of a financial crisis with the release of the fiscal year 2016 audit report. That report showed the school district overspent its budget by $6.2 million in fiscal year 2016 and had an ending general fund balance on June 30, 2016, of $106,449 - a critically low level, according to the district's auditor.

Baker had been superintendent of the district for four years, dating back to 2013.

Thursday's meeting will be at the district office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road.