New Schools Superintendent Has Busy First Day
Aaron Spence has hit the ground running as the Moore County school system’s new superintendent.
Moore County Clerk of Court Susan Hicks administered the oath of office to Spence Monday morning during a special meeting called by the Moore County Board of Education at the central administrative office in Carthage.
Several community members and representatives from the school system crowded into the board room to watch Spence take the oath with his family.
After the meeting, visitors greeted Spence and welcomed him into the position during a reception.
He then left to go enroll two of his children in school at Southern Pines Elementary School and to visit other schools in the system before coming back to the office to hold his first cabinet meeting with his staff.
Later that afternoon, Spence met with Board Chairwoman Kathy Farren and Vice Chairwoman Enola Lineberger to go over the agenda for next Monday’s board meeting, which will be Spence’s first as superintendent.
In between introductions, Spence said he was happy to finally be in Moore County and getting to work after waiting six weeks to move his family to the area from Houston.
After a nationwide search conducted by the N.C. School Boards Association, the Board of Education announced that Spence would succeed retiring Superintendent Susan Purser during a special meeting Dec. 20.
He left his position as chief high school officer for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to take the job.
Over the last month, Mike Griffin, the system's chief finance officer, has served as interim superintendent. He and others at the administrative office have worked to help Spence prepare to take on the role.
“The staff has been incredible with the transition,” Spence said.
He said Griffin was especially helpful in keeping the system on track for developing its budget for the 2012-2013 year.
Spence sat down with the Board of Education Tuesday evening for a work session to discuss the budget. He is expected to present his budget recommendations to the board in March.
As he looks forward to the next three months, Spence said he is especially excited to introduce himself to the community. He said he hopes to get a lot of feedback about where the school system needs to go, and he looks forward to assessing what needs to be done so that the system can continue to “grow to greatness,” in its independent accountability model.
“It’s a good opportunity to be out visiting the community,” he said. “My focus is going to be on listening and going over our strategic plan to see if there’s anything we can improve on.”
Spence is already scheduled to meet with local community leaders as well as visiting civic groups this week. He also hopes to attend a staff meeting at each school in the system over the next three months.
Spence also will participate in the eighth annual Spelling Bee for Literacy next Thursday.
Farren said the Board of Education is excited to see what Spence has in store for the system.
She said that though coming into the role during the school year may not be the smoothest option for a new superintendent, Spence will have several opportunities to meet people in the system by participating in different events and activities going on, rather than starting his job during the summertime and waiting for the school year to start.
“That way, it’s a whole lot easier [to get to know people],” she said during the reception.
Farren added that the last few weeks have been a whirlwind for Spence, his wife, Krista, and their six children as they relocated to Moore County, but she thinks Spence has been enjoying the ride.
“He's jumping in quickly,” she said. “He’s excited about that — that it’s started and starting fast.”
Contact Hannah Sharpe at email@example.com.
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