A bombshell dropped last night out of a called meeting of the Elbert County Board of Education.
Only two items were on the agenda heading into the meeting, and they were an executive session and discussion about insurance coverage for the school district.
Under new business, Board Chairman Ben Baker turned it over to School Superintendent Rick Higginbotham, who then announced his resignation and retirement.
It has been my pleasure to serve the students and community for the previous 31 years, and it has been an honor for me to serve as superintendent under a board of education with the courage and wisdom you have demonstrated through a very difficult transition over the last two years”, expressed Higginbotham. “We have created a model for great success in Elbert County both academically and with extra curricular programs. I wish this school system and every individual connected with it much success in the future.”
Baker had nothing but positive things to say about Higginbotham’s time as superintendent.
“Besides being a great leader in this community, and a very progressive superintendent, he has moved us through some of the toughest time the school system has gone through”, said Baker. “The other part is, I consider Coach Higg a close and dear friend, I personally wish him the best of luck towards whatever avenues he goes down, and I know he will do well at whatever he does.”
A motion was made to accept Higginbotham’s letter of resignation, which passed the board with a 5-0 vote.
Higginbotham took over as School Superintendent on July 1st, of 2011; and his resignation will take effect on June 30th, 2013.
Following that announcement, the board announced his replacement.
Associate Superintendent Chuck Bell was revealed as the district’s new superintendent for an interim period of one year.
Bell said he plans on doing his best to maintain the momentum that the Elbert County School District has gained under Higginbotham’s tenure.
“I’m humbled, proud, and very prepared to take us in the direction that Coach Higginbotham has us moving in right now”, said Bell. “I want to thank the board for having the confidence of placing me into this interim role.”
Prior to working for the Elbert County School System, Bell served as Principal at Commerce Middle School and Principal at Cook High School in Adel, Georgia.