SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Tears, cheers, and applause rang out as the Sumter County School District's Board of Trustees announced the selection of a new interim superintendent to replace the resigning Randolph Bynum.
Board members voted 5-2 to select Dr. Frank Baker as the district's interim leader.
Baker previously served as the superintendent at Sumter County School District 2 before the districts were consolidated. He had previously been a teacher and principal in that district before serving as superintendent for 19 years.
The Board also decided in a 4-3 vote to not allow Baker to apply to become the permanent superintendent.
Board members deliberated for an hour in executive session before making their selection.
Mariah McKellar, one of many people who attended the meeting, says hiring Baker is a step in the right direction.
"I think he'll be wonderful," said McKellar. "My father worked for him for about 30 years. I attended schools under his leadership, and I think he's going to do a fantastic job to get us through this rough patch."
"As much as I want to say really happy, which I am really happy, I'm also very scared," said Erin Weekes, one of the parents who started a petition to have Bynum removed. "Because the more people leave, the less transparent the board is becoming. This is probably the third revision of an agenda for this meeting and each time it's revised, it's becoming more and more opaque."
Bynum resigned as superintendent late last week after a packed room of parents and staff members addressed the Board about ongoing issues with teacher turnover, student testing, and low morale amongst staff members.