Education

Beaufort Co. school board OKs salary, contract for new superintendent

A look back at Jeff Moss’ run as Beaufort County School District superintendent

Dr. Jeff Moss has resigned from his position of the Beaufort County School District superintendent. Here's a look back at his successes — and controversies — that surrounded his career the last five years.
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Dr. Jeff Moss has resigned from his position of the Beaufort County School District superintendent. Here's a look back at his successes — and controversies — that surrounded his career the last five years.

Five weeks after announcing his hiring, the Beaufort County School District’s Board of Education approved a four-year contract with a $210,200 annual salary for incoming superintendent Frank Rodriguez on Thursday night.

The board voted 9-2 to approve the negotiated contract, with members John Dowling and JoAnn Orischak opposing the motion.

Both said they objected to the length of Rodriguez’s contract.

“I will be voting no on this contract, simply because I cannot agree to the terms,” Dowling said.

Dowling said he also disagreed with the board’s decision to not make the contract public until it was signed by Rodriguez and finalized.

“That, to me, is a FOIA violation,” he said, referring to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, which is in place to ensure that public business is conducted in the open.

Rodriguez, who is expected to start July 1, was one of two finalists for the position.

He was narrowly selected in a 6-5 vote by the school board in April.

Previously, he served as a regional superintendent for the 10th-largest school district in the nation, Florida’s School District of Palm Beach County. He oversaw 58,000 students, more than double BCDS’ 22,000 students.

His salary is slightly lower than that of former Superintendent Jeff Moss, who resigned in May 2018 and left the district in July of that year. Moss, who was hired after three weeks of deliberations in 2013, was paid an annual base salary of $220,000 over a five-year contract, which was eventually extended by two years to 2020.

Moss exited the contract early amid an FBI investigation into the construction of two Bluffton schools spearheaded by Moss and after the controversial hiring of his wife to a district position in 2015, which led to an investigation by and a fine from the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

Since July 2018, the district has been led by interim superintendent Herb Berg, whose base salary was also $220,000 for his one-year contract.

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