Laurens Co. school superintendent choice left two previous jobs in mid-year

School board chooses Superintendent finalist

If Laurens County Schools chooses to hire Dan Brigman as its next school superintendent, it will be his third superintendent's job in just over a year.

In 2016 and spring 2017, Brigman left superintendent jobs in Alabama and North Carolina in the middle of the school year, according to news reports in those states.

In both cases, Brigman said he resigned due to family decisions, according to the newspaper reports.

The Laurens County Board of Education says they voted last Thursday to pick Brigman for the job.

He's spent 24 years in public education and the last 13 of those as superintendent -- in Coffee County, Tennessee; Macon County and Catawba County, North Carolina; and Decatur Alabama City Schools.

The board says they won't take a final vote on Brigman for at least two weeks -- which means the vote won't happen until at least Oct. 26.

School board chairman Brenda Hilton says that during interviews, Brigman discussed his reasons for resigning previous jobs, and she was satisfied with his explanation.

“It had to do with his family and a family crisis and he chose to put his family before his job,” said Hilton.

She said that she called Brigman's references and others not listed.

"I actually called 8 people and they said that he was a great leader, that he had the concern of his students more than anything that he was a dynamic leader, he was able to raise the morale,” said Hilton.

Hilton says she believes Brigman can help the district continue its improvement on state test scores.

Brigman was chosen from among 36 applicants for the job, she said.

He would replace Julie Alligood, who resigned in April as Lauren County's superintendent.

News of Brigman's selection caused people in Laurens County to criticize the choice on social media.

Some questioned why the district would hire someone who left two jobs abruptly and asked if he had been properly vetted.

In Decatur, Alabama, Superintendent Michael Douglas and school board president Karen Duke told the Decatur Daily newspaper they had not talked to anybody from Laurens County about Brigman or his departure.

Hilton did not know Brigman's salary. Alligood earned $131,000, according to the Open Georgia website.

The Decatur Daily reported that Brigman earned $175,000 at his previous job. He resigned 10 months into his three-year contract.

If the board approves Brigman next Friday, he will start shadowing the interim superintendent on November 1.

According to Hilton, the board plans to meet for a final vote on October 26 at 9 a.m.

Hilton says they will hold a meet and greet with Mr. Brigman after the vote.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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