published Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Dade schools leader Shawn Tobin replaced early

Dade County, Ga., schools Superintendent Shawn Tobin's planned May 1 retirement got moved up about nine weeks.

At a special called meeting Thursday, the school board voted 4-1 to buy out Tobin's contract, making his retirement immediate.

Board Chairwoman Carolyn Bradford wouldn't comment Friday other than to read a prepared statement that said the buyout was by mutual agreement and that the district appreciated Tobin's great service.

"This will allow the Board of Education to ... appoint an interim superintendent," Bradford said.

Associate Superintendent Cherie Swader was appointed to that post.

Bradford declined to state the amount the district paid to buy out Tobin's remaining time.

Tobin couldn't be reached for comment.

The sole "no" vote was cast by at-large school board member David Powell.

"I'm a big advocate of Shawn," said Powell, who's executive vice president of the Southeast Lineman Training Center, a vocational school in Trenton.

He opposed the buyout as a business decision, he said, because he wanted to save the taxpayers money.

Powell said Tobin has accepted a position elsewhere, though Powell declined to say where.

"Wherever he goes, he's going to shine," Powell said. "Nobody outworks that man. If I had a position at the lineman school, I'd hire him in a second."

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfree or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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