Dade County School Superintendent Shawn Tobin
announced that he will be retiring from the school system in May. The following
is his public announcement that was released Monday morning.
I have had the
pleasure of living and working in Dade County for the past three years. I can sincerely
proclaim that Dade County, Georgia is the most spiritual, patriotic, and
empathetic environment in which I have lived. Time has moved at warp speed
since my arrival. It seems like yesterday we were resolving issues created by
the devastating tornado on April 27, 2011. As a cooperative group we were
successful to endure and then move forward to accomplish numerous praiseworthy
programs for our most precious commodity -our children.
and all schools worked hand-in-hand to establish one of the best mentorship
programs in the state. It is incredible what can happen when we allow our
churches to be more involved with our schools. Prior to the establishment of
the mentorship program, ministers and I would pray for mentors to come forward
and for God to have a hand in this program. I am reminded of a quote by Abraham
Lincoln, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest
concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” I am happy to say we
have nearly 70 mentors serving our children.
I am thankful
we worked as a group to establish an Emotional Behavioral Program to serve some
of our most needy students. We have children in Dade County Schools, through no
fault of their own that have been exposed to unthinkable situations or they
have neurological deficiencies requiring services of EBD (thank you Ms.
Plumlee, Ms. Hairel and EBD paraprofessionals).
Yes, we have
had our challenges (removal of a book, difficult budgets, local public library
scrutiny, attempt at modifying the 65/5 resolution, athletic booster club and
non-residency policies, reduction in force, controversy over a school calendar,
track renovation setbacks, etc.) but through it all, we have become stronger as
an education purposed family. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “That which
does not kill us makes us stronger.”
With this being
said, I want you to know that I have notified the Board of Education that I
will be retiring effective May 1, 2014. I selected this date to allow the board
to have the ability to advertise my replacement and allow the next
superintendent to finalize the budget we will be working on for presentation.
On the bright
side, our financial situation is better today than it has been in five years.
Whether you liked my leadership or not, I can assure you that every decision I
made and will continue to make, is what I believe is best for children.
In the words of
General George S. Patton, “Better to fight for something than live for
nothing.” Please continue to fight for our children on a daily basis as you may
very well be their last hope or source of inspiration. I take with me many
lessons learned and I wish for you continued success in this education journey.
Shawn Patrick Tobin