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Schools' HR director to assume new role

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is hoping to save a little money at the end of this school year by merging two central office positions.

In March, the Newton County Board of Education gave the nod to Dennis Carpenter, current associate superintendent of Human Resources at NCSS, to assume the role of Deputy Superintendent for Operations effective July 1.

"I am excited about this appointment and humbled by the trust and support that (NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley) and the school board have extended to me by way of this appointment," Carpenter said in a press release. "I have committed to leading the operations of the district in a manner that fosters support for school and departmental initiatives while maintaining a high level of fiscal responsibility."

This new role combines two current positions, including his position and that of the associate superintendent of business and administration, which is currently held by Deborah Robertson. In December, Robertson announced her plans to retire at the end of June.

Whatley plans to appoint a director of Human Resources, leaving the system to operate with three superintendents - Whatley as superintendent, Carpenter as deputy superintendent and Dr. Linda Hayden as associate superintendent for instruction - instead of the current four, which he said would save the school system money during a tight budget period.

"By naming a Deputy for Operations and replacing the associate for Human Resources with a director of Human Resources, who reports to the deputy superintendent, a minimum of $11,212 will be saved," Whatley said in an e-mailed statement through the NCSS public relations department. "If an existing director is transferred into the position, (an) additional savings of almost $15,000 in salary will be affected."

He said Carpenter's salary, which is currently more than $105,000, will be increased $1,500 next school year for a leadership supplement and possibly an applicable step increase if granted by the state, based on a salary formula.

In his new position, Carpenter will oversee Human Resources, business and finance, transportation, school nutrition, purchasing, energy and construction and maintenance and operations.

Before joining NCSS last year, Carpenter served as assistant superintendent for Support Services for Appling County Schools and a fourth-grade teacher, assistant principal and principal before that.

"Mr. Carpenter's proven leadership performance within our system as well as within other systems has prepared him to assume these important job responsibilities," Whatley said in a press release. "These past experiences and his personal communication skills and honesty make him the best person to perform these expanded roles."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.