Truesdale accepts NC job, will leave district this fall

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJuly 24, 2012 

Valerie Truesdale

Beaufort County School District superintendent Valerie Truesdale has retirement plans lined up -- and they include a new job in North Carolina.

Truesdale said Tuesday she has accepted a job as the chief information officer at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, where she will oversee technology programs at the district's 159 schools. The district serves more than 140,000 students.

She'll start in October, but a specific date hasn't been chosen, she said.

Truesdale told the Beaufort County Board of Education on Friday that she would retire within a year. She said she was asked to interview for the Charlotte job Thursday, interviewed for it Monday, and received and accepted an offer Tuesday.She said she heard about the job from a colleague.It's not clear what the Beaufort County School District might do to replace Truesdale. An attempt to reach Board of Education Chairman Fred Washington Jr. late Tuesday night was unsuccessful.

Truesdale said it's possible an interim superintendent would be selected -- adding that the district's administration and principals are a strong team to pull from.Truesdale will oversee a push for digital learning. The Charlotte district spent millions buying iPads and training teachers last year, a push the Beaufort County School District is embarking on this school year.

The Charlotte district has plans for wireless Internet in all schools and some schools will have a "bring your own devices" program. Beaufort schools also are implementing bring-your-own-device programs this year.

Truesdale also said she would oversee the district's operational software. She's been focused on technology for about 20 years in positions with the S.C. Department of Education, Lexington County 5 School District, the Oconee County School District and here, she said.

Truesdale said she would make between $140,000 and $160,000; a set salary has not been determined.

She makes $205,000 as superintendent, a position she has held for five years.

The position puts her closer to family -- one of the main reasons she said she was retiring. Truesdale said two of her three children, and two of her grandchildren, are in the Charlotte area.

Truesdale also cited changes in the state's retirement system that made it advantageous for her to retire sooner.

She also said she wanted to slow down from the long hours she currently keeps. Focusing on only one area of education should help, she said.

"This is very exciting to be able to focus on one area I'm very passionate about, which is making sure we are opening technology to students and that students are taught in the manner they enjoy learning," she said.

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