It was on Sept. 19 that the Fayette County Board of Education and Superintendent Jeff Bearden entered into a mutual termination agreement that cited Dec. 31 as his last day of employment. But according to documents on the Floyd County School System website, Bearden completed an application and resume for superintendent’s job on Sept. 4, a full two weeks before he and the Fayette school board agreed to the mutual termination. Bearden is listed as one of two finalists in the search to fill the superintendent’s position in Rome.
Bearden on the Floyd County application said, “Floyd County is a very desirable place to live and work. I have had the opportunity to spend time in your community and am very impressed. I have reviewed the information on your website and am appreciative of your desire to advance learning opportunities for your students. Your move to a charter system I believe was the right thing to do in order to give your system the greatest flexibility for creativity and innovation… I am ready for this new challenge in my professional life.”
On his application Bearden said school board Chair Leonard Presberg and Vice Chair Terri Smith were aware of his application submittal. And on his resume, Bearden listed Presberg, Smith and school board member Janet Smola as references.
According to the Rome News-Tribune, Bearden indicated that he was impressed with the financial condition of the Floyd County School System. “Floyd I’m sure has made some really challenging decisions but the fact they have a relatively healthy fund balance tells me it’s been managed pretty well up there,” Bearden said. “So there are a lot of things about the community and school system that makes it a very attractive job.”
The Floyd County Board of Education is is expected to announce the name of the new superintendent on Nov. 5.
The terms of the mutual termination agreement with the Fayette BoE called for Bearden to receive a year’s salary, $153,000, and the funds to pay for health insurance costs for one year.
As for the surprise announcement at the Sept. 19 meeting of the Fayette school board, there has been no mention of the circumstances of the decision that came with a 4-1 vote in which Presberg was opposed.
“(Bearden and all members of the school board) agree not to make any oral or written communication to any person or entity that disparages, is intended to damage the reputation, or has the effect of damaging the reputation of another party. No statements will be made by any party to this agreement, including the individual members of the Board of Education, contrary to the terms of this agreement or the joint press release issued by the parties. All parties specifically agree that as of the date of the agreement, they are aware of no evidence which would required a report to any federal, state or private regulatory agency with regard to the conduct of the other,” the mutual termination agreement said.