The Clinton City Schools system has been an intricate part of Clyde Locklear’s life for the past 27 years. Today, Locklear began the next chapter of his life as he started with Cumberland County Schools.
Locklear officially took the helm as the associate superintendent of business operations for Cumberland County Schools. The former finance director was honored by family, friends and co-workers during a reception Monday night.
As the atrium at Clinton High School filled with well-wishers, Locklear took time to reflect upon the time he spent serving a community he loves.
“It truly is touching to see so many people come out,” Locklear said.
Locklear was joined by his family, wife Tasha, daughter Meredith and son Weston, during the reception.
Locklear isn’t leaving Clinton City Schools without being shown appreciation from board members and Dr. Stuart Blount, superintendent, whom Locklear has worked with for the last three years. Prior to Monday night’s reception, board member E.R. Mason expressed his admiration for Locklear.
“Clyde was very consistent in his dealings with the central office staff, principals, teachers and parents,” Mason wrote in a letter. “He was very helpful with the many financial situations that we faced.”
Mason began working with Locklear in 1997, when he was the associate principal of Clinton High School. According to the board member, Locklear was an instrumental part of making the new high school a reality.
In the three years Blount has worked with Locklear, the superintendent says he has gained a high level of respect for the former finance director.
“I have found Clyde to be very detailed when it comes to crunching numbers,” Blount said. “He has always maximized our resources.”
According to Blount, Locklear has developed lasting and impressionable relationships with the many people he has dealt with yearly to develop a budget for the schools. Those relationships, Blount added, have been very beneficial for Clinton City Schools.
As for losing Locklear to Cumberland County, Blount said it’s a loss for Clinton City, but a testament to the man Locklear has proven to be.
“I am very proud of the fact that Clyde has this chance to go into a system as large as Cumberland because of his expertise and work ethic,” Blount said during a telephone interview Tuesday morning. “It only shows the quality of man Clyde truly is.”
Cumberland County Schools is one of the largest systems in the state. Locklear will be managing 21 employees, 87 schools and a $412 million budget. That, Blount said, only shows just how qualified Locklear is.
“This is a reflection of Clyde’s ability to manage a school budget,” Blount added.
Both Blount and Mason verbally shared their thoughts of missing Locklear from the school system, but as many came and said their goodbyes during Monday afternoon’s reception, Mason’s words adequately showed the community’s appreciation for Locklear.
“Clinton City Schools is going to miss Mr. Locklear and his outstanding service,” Mason shared.
Following Monday’s reception, the board met in closed session to discuss personnel matters. Following that meeting, Blount said the board entered a contract with NCASBO, North Carolina Association of School Business Officials and hired Nan Barwick to serve as interim finance director through Nov. 30. Barwick is retired from Wayne County Schools and began in her role Tuesday.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.