Recent MCSD job recommendation causing controversy among board -, GA News Weather & Sports

Recent MCSD job recommendation causing controversy among board

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County School Board members are publicly voicing their concern with the superintendent's recent job recommendations - some calling into question one decision to bring an outside candidate for a top job in the school district. 

Superintendent David Lewis' latest recommendation, a lighting rod for criticism and commentary during Monday's school board meeting. 

Among the three candidates he said he interviewed for the position, Lewis recommended Dr. Angela Vickers, an educator based out of Tampa, FL, to become the district's new chief student services officer, and step in for a retiring Melvin Blackwell. 

Lewis described the job's duties to the board, "Special education, it entails discipline, it entails our guidance department."

District 9 board member Frank Myers drew attention to what he called an incomplete resume submitted by Vickers submitted, then alluding to the fact that Vickers is not someone currently working for the school district.

"She could have been the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is time to start hiring from within," Myers said. 

Lewis told his fellow board members, as well as the public, one of the three candidates he interviewed is a current MCSD employee. 

A heated back-and-forth then ensued between Lewis, who defended his recommendation, and Myers, questioning Vickers' credentials.  

"You made the comment she's not qualified," Lewis told Myers.  "That is totally incorrect. She's absolutely qualified or she wouldn't have been considered to begin with."

"Mr. Myers, I'm going to ask you, do you want the best person for our children or just anybody?" Lewis asked. 

Pausing first, Myers then replied, "I absolutely want the best person."

"Thank you," Lewis answered. 

"I want to believe everything you're saying about this lady," Myers said to Lewis, "but the evidence doesn't point us in that direction."

"That's why you hired me..." Lewis replied, "to make that decision."

This was only the first discussion of Lewis' recommended pick.  A vote will take place in the upcoming next school board meeting. 

Frank Myers stated he will vote against Vickers' appointment. District 5 board member Laurie McRae agreed with Myers in wanting to take a closer look at Vickers' background as an educator.

"I do think there are holes in that gave us concern," McRae said. "If she could give us a little more information, I think that would be helpful."

District 7 board member Cathy Williams supported Lewis' choice, while still hinting at the need to start looking at job candidates already working for the school district. 

"I wish we could promote from within more often. I still have to believe he has done the work we have tasked him to do, and that he is bringing forward the best candidate for this position."

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