Another top-ranking Beaufort County School District employee is seeking a new role elsewhere.
Gregory McCord, the district's chief auxiliary services officer, has been selected as one of four finalists for the superintendent position at Marlboro County School District on the northern border of South Carolina.
If McCord is hired for the position, it would make him the third top-level administrator in the Beaufort County School District to announce his departure this year. Superintendent Jeff Moss resigned May 15, and district attorney Drew Davis submitted his resignation in April.
McCord said he began the application process before Moss announced his resignation, and that Moss' departure did not play a role in his decision to seek the new position.
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"When I arrived here six years ago, it was always a goal of mine to be a superintendent," McCord said. "After looking at Marlboro County for quite some time, they have a lot of teachers I can identify with, and I think my skill set fits comfortably with what they're trying to do as a district."
McCord receives a $118,209 annual salary — the fifth-highest salary in the Beaufort County district, according to district records.
Under Moss' leadership, the district has been the subject of much controversy — including Moss' state ethics violations, two failed referendums and a current FBI investigation related to the construction of two Bluffton schools built during Moss' tenure.
McCord, for the most part, has remained out of the spotlight.
In April 2017, he was involved in a confrontation with school board member John Dowling, who was then a private citizen. McCord escorted Dowling out of a school board work session after Dowling got into an argument with then-board Chairwoman Mary Cordray.
Dowling filed a restraining order against McCord, but a magistrate judge found no grounds for that request.
McCord's duties in Beaufort County include overseeing adult education, student transportation, youth leadership, behavior intervention programs, student discipline and mentoring programs.
He has instituted a 2.0 GPA policy for Beaufort County student athletes, founded the E3 mentoring program for middle and high school boys, and in 2015, he received the Special Olympics South Carolina Educator of the Year Award, according to his resume.
Before joining Beaufort County schools, McCord served as principal of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School for five years. He also served as assistant principal at two high schools and as the director of student services for Lexington/Richland School District 5.
The four finalists in Marlboro County were selected from 34 applicants from across the country, including 13 from South Carolina and 10 from North Carolina, according to a district news release. McCord is the only finalist who does not have previous superintendent experience.
Marlboro County School District consists of eight schools that serve a total of about 4,000 students from prekindergarten through 12th grade, according to the district newsrelease.
Nearly 83 percent of students in that school district live in poverty, compared with 54 percent in Beaufort County schools, according to the most recent data available from the South Carolina Department of Education.
The two school districts maintained nearly identical four-year graduation rates and percentage of students attending college after graduation as Beaufort County schools in 2017.
As the next step of the application process, the four finalists will participate in a public forum in Marlboro County on Monday night, the newsrelease said.