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Superintendent Professional Development: NCSS leader completes program

COVINGTON - Newton County School System personnel continue to receive more training.

Earlier this month, NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter completed the Georgia School Superintendents Association's Superintendent Professional Development Program.

The program is a two-year course of study to prepare individuals for local superintendent positions.

"This was an undertaking I began prior to my arrival in Newton County," said Carpenter, who was hired as associate superintendent for human resources in February 2008 after working as assistant superintendent for support services for Appling County Schools. "I am fortunate to have worked with superintendents in the past who endorsed my participation in this prestigious program. In addition, I want to publicly thank Dr. (Steve) Whatley for supporting my completion of this program and recognizing the value that participation in this type of program adds to our district."

Generally, about 25 Georgia school leaders are selected by a committee made up of superintendents, college professors and business leaders to participate in the program, according to a press release from NCSS.

The program, which is designed for those who aspire to serve as a superintendent, prepares participants for high responsibilities in a focused and job-specific study. It goes beyond traditional graduate classes that deal with administration and focuses on leadership development, first-hand experiences and practical studies, according to the press release.

Also, Carpenter was taught by professors who have served in educational leadership roles and who are current and former superintendents.

"Over the course of the last two years, I had the opportunity to spend one weekend per month with some of the finest educational leaders in our state," Carpenter said. "The knowledge we gained from nationally acclaimed presenters and each other, combined with the camaraderie we established, will serve us well as we continue the rewarding work of educating Georgia's children."

Also this month, Carpenter successfully defended his dissertation and satisfied all degree requirements for his doctorate of education degree at Georgia Southern University, according to the press release.

In April, the Newton County Board of Education approved Carpenter to become the deputy superintendent for NCSS upon the retirement of Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration. Carpenter oversees human resources, business and finance, transportation, school nutrition, purchasing, energy and construction and maintenance and operations in his new position. The NCSS leadership team also consists of Superintendent of Schools Steven Whatley and Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

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