Since joining the Beaufort County School District in July 2013, superintendent Jeff Moss has expanded pre-kindergarten, launched a scholarship program with the Technical College of the Lowcountry and started construction on a both an elementary school and high school in Bluffton.
The Board of Education appreciates the energy and initiatives Moss has brought, they said in his annual evaluation -- so much so they want to keep him through 2020.
During a Saturday work session, the school board decided to extend Moss' $220,000 a year contract by two years, through 2020. No vote was taken regarding a raise to his salary.
Jim Beckert, who chaired the superintendent evaluation committee, would not comment on whether the board considered raising Moss' salary, saying only that the salary was discussed in an executive session Saturday. The closed meeting lasted an hour-and-a-half.
Moss said he was extremely pleased and appreciative of the board's support. He thinks the district has made great strides in the last year, and is ready to continue that progress.
All but one board member voted for the extension, with most saying they want to give Moss time to continue rolling out the programs and plans he has put in motion.
"With all the goals we have put in place, it is going to take additional time for those things to be accomplished," board member Laura Bush said. "I think it is helpful for the district to know there is overall continuity in the leadership to help follow-through with the changes we plan to make."
Board member Michael Rivers said he voted against the extension because there were several recommendations Moss has made in the last 16 months that he doesn't agree with. Rivers said he thinks the hall monitors should not have been removed -- a decision the district made when facing budget cuts -- and that the district should be more careful about borrowing moneyFor example, the district will borrow about $65 million for the new high school in Bluffton.Overall, the board did not have many areas it felt Moss needed to improve, Beckert said. Since it was his first review, Saturday's work amounted laying a foundation from which to grow and compare for future reviews, Beckert added.
There were three main goals the board asked Moss to tackle: close the achievement gap, develop effective alternative education programs and attract and maintain the highest quality staff.
Moss told the board not to expect those goals to be addressed overnight, but added that the district is already discussing ways to best reach those them.
Concluding its evaluation, the board said it "feels very confident that Dr. Moss is the leader we need to make (the) Beaufort County School District a standout not only in South Carolina but in the region and nation."
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