Andrews, from Tennessee, has 19 years of experience as a superintendent in Tennessee and North Carolina.
The board voted to hire Andrews for $145,000 per year with a proposed four-year contract, pending the successful negotiation of other contract terms. School Board Chairman Tedd Moyd said he hopes to have the contract completed and executed later this week.
“We had a very strong slate of candidates and we were happy with all three finalists,” Moyd said. “In the end, the board believes Mr. Andrews brings the best experiences that match what we need to help the Jasper County School District take some major jumps forward.”
Andrews has most recently served as superintendent of schools in Cumberland County, Tennessee. Before that he was superintendent of the Randolph County Schools in Asheboro, NC and Hartnett County Schools in Lillington, NC.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and physical education. He holds both Master’s and specialist degrees in educational leadership from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC
Other finalists for the position were Cynthia Brictson, the interim deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the DeKalb County School District in the Atlanta area, and Dr. Marcela Heyward-Evans, chiefinstructional officer at Lexington School District 2 in Columbia, SC.
“We took this job very seriously and we spent a lot of time looking for the right person to lead the school district into the future,” Moyd said. “We’ve made some good gains academically, but we need to speed up those improvements across the board.
“We are looking to the future with the new Jasper Port soon to be a reality, with Gulfstream in Savannah and other good industries paying good money for qualified workers, and we need to make sure our Jasper County students are first in line for those good jobs,” he said.
Earlier this month, each candidate spent a full day in Jasper County, touring schools and the community and meeting with parents, business leaders, teachers and administrators.
“It was important that each of our finalists had a good understanding of the challenges we face but also the great community resources we have available,” Moyd said. “Every year I am proud of our dedicated teachers, our strong school leaders and the hundreds of volunteers who help our students learn. That’s such an important part of what we’ll need to improve our school district.”
More than 70 people inquired about the superintendent position and 50 formal applications were submitted from candidates in 20 different states. The national search firm McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha, Nebraska, led the search effort for the school board.