Dan Sims to ‘take over’ as Superintendent of Bibb Schools

The Bibb County School Board voted 6-2 to appoint Sims, who is expected to start work July 1. Council members Daryl Morton and Lisa Garrett voted against.

MACON, Ga. — A new chief is set to take over Bibb County Schools.

Dan Anthony Sims, one of five associate superintendents of Atlanta Public Schools, was named the district’s new superintendent at a board meeting called Tuesday night.

The Bibb County School Board voted 6-2 to appoint Sims, who is expected to start work July 1. Council members Daryl Morton and Lisa Garrett voted against the measure.

The vote comes 14 days – the minimum period required by law – after the council voted 6-2 to name Sims the district’s only finalist for the job. It also ends a nearly seven-month search process to find a replacement for Curtis Jones, who plans to retire on June 30 after seven years with the district.

Sims, of East Point, was one of 33 candidates applying for the job. Sims’ wife, Traci, and their college son, Jordan, attended the meeting.

A contract, salary and benefits were not discussed Tuesday night. However, district spokeswoman Stephanie Hartley said the tentative plan is to have The Sims sign a contract at a regular board meeting later this month.

Sims told The Macon Newsroom he had “found a place to stay. The contract was signed, all brand new. Sims said her family will stay in Atlanta while her daughter, a high school student, completes the year.

“She would divorce if she had to leave her school,” Sims said of her Grade 12 daughter.

Although The Sims doesn’t officially start until July 1, he said he plans to start engaging with locals next month. A meeting with the public is scheduled for the end of June.

In a brief speech after the board vote, Sims said he would focus on continuity and thanked Jones for being “an incredible partner in the transition.”

“It has been an amazing journey that I started months ago. I knew I needed to gain as much knowledge and insider understanding of Macon, this community and this neighborhood if I had the intention to apply for this incredible and important position. I just think of the hours and miles and the time that I have put in preparing for this opportunity,” Sims said. “What I can guarantee you is that I come to you as a prepared professional, a person who has done his homework and his heart. The one who – as I told you in one of our interviews – put all his eggs in one basket.

“There hasn’t been a single other application I’ve made to become superintendent because I’ve been sold on the opportunity to come and be a part of this community this season. My whole career is immersed in hard work , dedication, sense of community, skill and most importantly a heart for children. What I intend to do is take over from Dr Jones and continue to win victory, not only the current victory, but the victory that we continue to plan and move forward so that every family, community member, student and employee – and especially you the board – can have all the confidence of the world in what we intend to do.

Macon’s newsroom sought comment from school board president Thelma Dillard, who came prepared with a printed statement. Dillard discouraged other board members from speaking to reporters before leaving the meeting.

Board member Kristin Hanlon said there wasn’t one specific thing about The Sims that appealed to her, but “it really came down to what we heard in the room during interviews” , she said.

Hanlon said choosing Sims was “a group decision” and “a very collegial process. We work as a team and we are just one legal organization as a team.

Board member James Freeman said Sims “has a real vision to continue the hard work that has already been done by Dr Jones and the district to continue the progress that has been made and I think he is thrilled to “Being in Bibb County. That’s what will make him a great superintendent that will keep us going.”

Board member Sundra Woodford said Sims “has the depth of scholarship, the experience and the kind of vision that we need right now in this district. … We need someone who is brave enough to make these tough decisions, who has this experience because public schools in Atlanta is not an easy place to leave I think he will bring all of his experience and skills here and I think we will see the change that is needed right now.

Woodford said the council “cast a brave vote tonight. Because, as you know, some members of the community were not in favor of it, but they didn’t have the information that we had.

Asked what information the public should know now that Sims has been nominated, Woodford said Sims “did his research and he presented that research with solutions.”

“He had a plan from day one,” Woodford said. “This man, it was like he started researching us before we even knew him, which interested me that you wanted this job so badly that you went the extra mile to know everything you could over this community, the board, this district, our students, our challenges and you are ready to meet them…. No one else has come as strong as him with a plan and a vision.

Board member Juawn Jackson said he “is very excited about the future of the Bibb County School District and I believe our community will see what we have seen in him during this process. “.

Asked what the board saw in Sims, Jackson said, “What you see is a capable leader who is ready and willing to engage everyone in this community, all stakeholders…for one purpose. and it is to ensure that every child receives an equitable education and has a good chance of being ready, upon graduation, for employment, enlistment, or enrollment in a college of their choice. We are excited about the next steps to victory.

To contact Civic Journalism Fellow Laura Corley, email [email protected] or call 478-301-5777.

Comments are closed.