Superintendent prepping for role

Published 6:00 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

Troup County’s soon-to-be new superintendent, Brian Shumate, was in the county this week, meeting community members and familiarizing himself with his impending surroundings.

Shumate, who is currently finishing his time with the Medford City School System in Medford, Oregon, will officially begin as the new Troup County Superintendent on July 1 of this year.

In the lead-up to that date, Shumate is making an effort to familiarize himself with the area as best he can, a good idea before he steps into a massively important job for the county.

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When it was announced that Brian Shumate was to be the next superintendent of the Troup County School System, one of the primary public reactions we observed via social media was a sense of incredulousness related to what Shumate will earn, $225,000 annually. This is, to be sure, a large sum of money. However, it is 0.0019 percent of the school system’s projected 2020 budget of $118,276,659, a tiny fraction by any standard and one the public should be more than willing to accept.

The more important issue than Shumate’s impending salary will be his performance.

In his recent visit, Shumate identified some of the positives and negatives he has noticed related to the school system at an early glance, as he recognizes he will be able to truly sink his teeth into the system and community after July 1.

One positive element Shumate recognized this week was the fiscal responsibility that has been shown by interim superintendent Dr. Roy Nichols and the board.

“They have been very financially and fiscally prudent,” Shumate said. “We’ve got to make sure we spend money where we get the best results for kids.”

Positive cash flow, strong community support and top-notch facilities were all noted by Shumate as positive notes for the school system.

Having a community that supports SPLOST efforts the way Troup County does for the purposes of education was particularly impressive, he said. 

When listing areas of opportunity, Shumate naturally mentioned the need to see improved test scores, which will not see a simple solution.

“I want Troup County to be mentioned in at least the upper third of the state,” Shumate said. “We’ve got a ways to go.”

Naturally, we all should wish Dr. Shumate well as he prepares to shift his life and future to our community, and do what is necessary to support his efforts to continue the revitalization of our school system.