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To the Residents of Columbus and Lowndes County,

After consultation with the Board of Trustees and my desire to remain focused on our common goal of improving the quality of education for children, the position of Director of Schools will not be filled as Mr. Smith has declined the offer. The Director of Schools position was not a new expenditure for CMSD.

This position was carved out of the previous Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Federal Programs position which had a budgeted salary of $98,000. A position of Director of Schools would have resulted in a $28,000 salary savings to CMSD and resulting in a more streamlined organization. For the 2014-2015 academic year the CMSD administrative team will absorb additional responsibilities allowing for both the support needed and realization of greater overall cost savings.

The recommendation to the Board of Trustees to hire Mr. Smith would have benefited CMSD by assisting in our efforts to revitalize the District’s educational promise; however, community support is vital and valued in transforming an educational system. As I’ve stated since arriving to CMSD, trust and perception by our community is very important to me as we work together to create One Vision, One Team and One Columbus. Please join me and the Board as we begin our work to make CMSD the first choice for all families in our community.


Philip W.V. Hickman, Ed. D
Columbus Municipal School District

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