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Fayette BoE picks Bearden as new superintendent

It was a quick motion and vote Tuesday night as members of the Fayette County Board of Education returned from executive session and agreed to offer the job of school system superintendent to Dr. Jeffrey Byron Bearden. The vote was 5-0 and came with no discussion.

Chairman Terri Smith after the meeting said Bearden will be notified of the board’s decision. She expects to have his answer and a contract ready to be affirmed at the board’s next meeting on Aug. 17.

Bearden was one of three finalists for the position.

Bearden on his application for the superintendent’s position listed his current employer as Maine School Administrative District 35 (Marshwood District) in Eliot, Maine where he serves as Superintendent of Schools at a salary of $128,500.

Bearden has served as Superintendent since 2007 and as an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University in North Miami, Fla. since 2006. Prior to that time he served as Assistant Superintendent for Business in the Maine School Administrative District from 2001-2006. Bearden served as Superintendent in the Limestone School Department from 1999-2001, as Assistant Principal at Presque Isle High School (Maine) from 1996-1999, as District Athletic Administrator and Social Studies teacher from 1992-1996 and, also in the Limestone District, as an Language Arts teacher from 1990-1992 and varsity girls basketball coach from 1984-1992.

Bearden received an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2003 and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Maine in 1995. Bearden also holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Maine. He has published papers on topics such as retaining teachers, employee wellness, tobacco use and learning techniques.

Responding to why he wanted to come to the school system, Bearden said, “The Fayette County School System is a place to live and work. I have had the opportunity to spend time in your community while visiting with my parents who live in Fayetteville. For me, it is the ideal job in the ideal location. I have been following your school district through your website and the media for several years. Your commitment to providing a quality educational program to the students you serve is impressive. I have listened to your Board podcasts and have read your strategic plan and the annual report. It is obvious to me that Fayette County would be a good fit for me personally and professionally.”

“Your district is much larger than the one I currently serve. However, I am convinced that if given an opportunity to interview for the position, the Board of Education will be excited about my candidacy. I have spent my entire adult life in leadership positions. I feel I am well prepared for this challenge. I am persistent, passionate, and resilient.”

“The superintendent is the ‘face’ of the district. I believe the Board would find me to have excellent communication skills and an engaging personality. The Board would also find me to be well prepared not only for the interview process but, if selected, in all aspects of my profession. ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’ I am ready for this new challenge in my professional life. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Board of Education how together we can make an already very successful school district even better,” Bearden said.

Stating his education philosophy, Bearden said he had “...established ten guiding principles that have served me will over the years and I believe these principles to be the elements of a successful school system:
1) Failure is unacceptable - We must diagnose early and prescribe to our students only methods that have evidence of success.
2) Students who have less must be given more - In order to level the playing field, children with the greatest needs must be provided the necessary resources, support, and time in order to close the achievement gap.
3) All students learn; as educators we must understand how they learn - A variety of instructional strategies and assessments is essential.
4) Students who are behind must work harder, longer, and under conditions that offer the possibility of success.
5) We must know our students well - Education is a relationship business.
6) Data must drive our decisions - Students work - outcomes - must determine the agenda for teacher work. We must document evidence of learning.
7) The culture of the school must be conducive to teaching and learning - schools must be safe.
8) Stay focused on the goal of student achievement - With a tough economy, it is easy to lose our focus on what is most important. School leaders cannot allow this to happen.
9) Form partnerships between home, school, and community. We must work together.
10) Celebrate success - Demonstrate support, appreciation, and respect for all students, faculty, and staff.”

Also in the running for the position were former Fayette County School System administrator Lyn Wenzel and Texas educator Dr. Roy “Cole” Pugh.



take those flannel shirts and give 'em away!

Delete the words "snow shovel" from your vocabulary!

"Salt" is now what you will put on all the food you eat, not what goes on the sidewalk!

Mooses are no more-it's deer, deer, deer...

Finally, bienvenue and bonne chance!:)

grassroots's picture

This 3-2 vote better change or he's just another DeCotis tool. I'll give him 6 months. Hope he's the right choice positive future for our kids.

the bloggers.....Dr. must just feel right at home here so far, I would guess! Three snow days already, who would have guessed?

I like the fact that Dr. Bearden has roots in the area (parents) and advanced degrees in educational leadership. He appears to be the right man for the job. I suspect he will be a worthy replacement for Dr. DeCotis.

What a shame to have to saddle him with the current school board, though.

<strong>‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’ I am ready for this new challenge in my professional life. I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Board of Education how together we can make an already very successful school district even better,” Bearden said.</strong>

Congratulations to the BOE for making a wise selection.

You folks just hired one of the best, most accomplished educators in the Northeast. There is not enough praise to bestow upon this man for what he has accomplished in the School District that he is leaving... On top of his professional qualifications and achievements, he is one of the most personable and community focused individuals that you will ever meet...

Congratulations to Dr. Bearden and your School District...

Sad Mainer

In following the supt. replacement for Dr Decotis I must of missed whether Dr Bearden is single married children etc.

You know his parents live in Fayetteville; Don't think you know about family status of the other two finalists either--just may not be legal to either ask for or disclose such info. Read the comment from the "Mainer"--maybe that'll give you a good feeling. I applaud the selection.

Facts are facts.....I'm not putting him down as a person...just stating facts. Someone who wants to oversee a school system with childrens' best interest in mind, but yet walks aways from his own? Okay, delete me again. In the words of the South, y'all figure it out in the end. Hopefully it works.

we have no way to know if you're really a "Mainer" or a local who wants to put a bad taste in our mouths before the man even gets here. Seeing as you only registered today, one has to wonder why you didn't show up earlier--and if this is truly a concern of yours, why didn't you contact the FC BOE and give them this info to use as part of their consideration. Hey, the man's been up there 20 yrs--lots of stuff can happen in 20 yrs, either here or there. What this really sounds like is sour grapes or for some reason, you have an axe to grind with Dr. Bearden.

Keep an open mind. All I'm saying.

mainer, I've been to Presque Isle and to Eliot. YOu cannot keep an open mind in Presque Isle, you have brain freeze on the frozen tundra 360 days of the year. On the other 5 days, you will do anything for excitement, and I mean anything.
Eliot should be one of those "can't get there from here" places. Maybe if you saw what there is here, you'd have a better idea of why people make this move, and it is not as nefarious as you insinuate.

AtHomeGym....if you think it's professional conduct as a married man to get into a "relationship" with a married subordinate/teacher (the "now" girlfriend)'ve found the right man for the job. As far as signing up just now. Don't care, he's gone....he's your problem now.

I do hope that you are a vicious joker, but if you are not we have worse stuff going on here now than what you say about the good Dr. Apparently it is not un-professional anymore!

You may not care, but you care enough to do a little character asassination on him as he goes out the door. So why didn't someone file an ethics complaint and get him fired? Guess his actions passed the "smell" test, huh? Think we'll judge him by his actions when he arrives.

He got a new job before the _________ hit the fan. Got no ethics case there. Hopefully it all works well in the South.

Are you saying that he may have lost his Maine Job if he had not got the one here?

Nope....the job before the two ex-wives who got dumped.....scroll down to faculty on the left, both on there. Done commenting on this subject. Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade.

with calling a spade a spade. Funny, mainer, that's not what Kathy and Monica called you.

No, nothing wrong with that--as long as the Spade has a say too--usually several sides to every story.

you are so right, especially on here.

Interesting--he wasn't offered the job until Aug 4th! Something fishy about your timeline here.

Went from Presque Isle, Maine, to Eliot, Maine, to save face.

seems you have a little problem. Wasn't it you who said a little while ago "Don't care, he's're problem now". But yet you just keep dropping these little turds of "truth" you think we need to know. Seems you are the small town gossip or the jilted ex-wife....Or maybe you're just jealous he didn't pick you to be the girlfriend to come south with (your words, not mine). How long will it be before you just blurt out your whole sordid Nat'l. Enquirer story? Just remember, we don't pay squealers here, we just blog them to death.

Super's Family

Autojockey asks about the new Super's family: seems there are at least two ex-wives and children who will stay behind in Maine. It has been said he is moving here with his girlfriend. He may not be named superintendent of the year, but could possibly be in the running for father of the year.

I said here someone should go to Maine and ask around before a hire. Paperwork means squat anymore!

The Church ladies will run him off. Maybe he knows Judges Caldwell and English, and some of the defense lawyers?

Completely agree 100 percent.

So why not tell us your source of this "it has been said" info? What I do know is that the local Maine Newspapers all decry his departure and heap praise on him for his accomplishments.

When you want to accuse someone, how about you show us proof. Or is it because you don't have any proof?

I would hope you are not part of the Smith and Smola fan club. Truth is even if you are not this is still good advice. Do not post anything unless you have proof. Insulting someone or even making claims that you know are false could not only damage your reputation but also get you into legal trouble.

here is my opinion....if you don't know someone personally and you are just going on things that you hear from others...then you shouldn't be saying anything about that person. Also, why do the two ex's need to be brought into this, they have nothing to do with Bearden getting this job and they shouldn't be brought into the topic of discussion. Congratulations to Dr.Bearden on the new job!

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