By David Meade
During their meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees unanimously named Associate Superintendent David Havird as their new superintendent. Havird will take over the position effective July 1 and will serve for the 2013-14 school year ending June, 2014. Havird will fill the position being vacated by the retirement of current superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler, who announced in October that he is retiring at the end of this school year.
Board Chairman Fred Alexander said that the board made the decision to hire from within the district rather than doing a search because Havird not only has the administrative skills, but is a proven, experienced and excellent leader and he also knows the communities District One serves.
Following a very brief executive session, the board returned to open session to act on hiring a superintendent.
Acting on a motion made by board member Nancy Upton and seconded by Dr. Doug Atkins, the board unanimously approved Havird as the next superintendent for District One. As stated in Upton’s motion, Havird’s salary will be set during the upcoming budget process.
Dr. Fowler told the board, “You have made an excellent choice. Mr. Havird has been an integral part of the success of the district. He has a great command of the budgetary process.” Dr. Fowler said that Havird was greatly involved in some “difficult budget times” the district has experienced in recent years. “It will be a seamless transition,” Dr. Fowler said.
Havird said that for the opportunity to exist, Dr. Fowler had to retire and speaking on behalf of District One teachers and staff, he commended Dr. Fowler, saying Dr. Fowler’s 42 years in the District as a teacher, guidance counselor, administrator and superintendent is “almost unbelievable.”
“His 42 years will certainly be characterized as leadership by example and character,” Havird said. Havird praised Fowler’s work ethic and pointed to his work on the district’s building program as an example. “He is always making decisions in the best interest of the students, the employees and the community,” Havird said. “I want to commend him publicly. No one wanted him to leave. I will work hard with him for the transition.”
Havird told the Board, “I appreciate the confidence and trust you have given me.”
Havird said he came to the District 21 years ago because he wanted his children to have an excellent education and for a better work opportunity for himself. He said he will have grandchildren in four different District One schools next year. “I am extremely proud to be an administrator here and will continue to focus on improving the district.”
Board Chairman Alexander read a prepared statement which said, “The Board and District employees will miss Dr. Fowler greatly but must respect that, after 42 years of service to the school system, he deserves to spend more time with his family and friends and to pursue personal hobbies and interests. The Board also realized that it needed to take immediate steps to identify Dr. Fowler’s successor so that the remarkable attainments of our school district’s students, faculty, and staff would continue and there would be a smooth transition in leadership.”
Alexander said the Board was faced with the same prospect when Dr. Reggie Christopher retired in 2004.
“Then and now, the Board knew it could either conduct a national/regional/state search for a new Superintendent or look internally to see if there was an administrator who not only knows the communities served by Anderson One, but is a proven, experienced and excellent leader.”
“Nine years ago the Board chose the latter process and appointed Dr. Fowler. Similarly this time, the Board realized that Anderson One is fortunate to have a highly regarded administrator in its Associate Superintendent, David Havird, who is recognized statewide for his leadership in personnel and general administration, who understands fully the expectations of our students, parents and employees, and who has played a key role for the past 21 years in the progress that our school system has made.”
“With this information in mind, the Board contacted Mr. Havird and asked him to speak with them about his leadership, management style and vision for Anderson One as it moves into the second decade of the Twenty-first century with the understanding that the Board might be interested in offering him employment as Superintendent. After this discussion and as reflected in the vote just taken, the Board believes Mr. Havird is the right person to serve as superintendent of Anderson One, and members trust the staff and community will give him its full support.”