High school students in Clinton City Schools will now have more opportunities to apply for college scholarships and receive support from a full-time college adviser/scholars coordinator, officials say, after the hiring Thursday night of superintendent Stuart Blount’s wife Toni by the Board of Education.
Nancy Dillman, assistant superintendent for administrative services and curriculum, said the position was created after surveys indicated the need for assistance for high school students wanting to continue their educational career.
“We have seen the need to provide more help for our students and parents, especially first generation college applicants,” Dillman explained. “Teachers all have full plates and our counselors continue to deal with more and more issues. We are excited to put focus on assisting our students with more individualized attention.”
After just over an hour behind closed doors Thursday night to discuss personnel, the Board of Education returned to open session and unanimously approved the hiring of Mrs. Blount for the position.
According to Clyde Locklear,Jr., assistant superintendent for facility/finance, Mrs. Blount will make $4,362 per month as a 10-month employee.
“The pay scale is based on the teachers’ pay scale, her degrees and how many years she has been working,” Locklear explained.
Dillman said Mrs. Blount served in the same position when she and her family lived in Scotland County.
“The reason why the position was created is because the feedback we got back from the community was that there was a need for more help with the college administration and locating and securing scholarships. School districts throughout the state are looking for ways to assist students. It has been proven to be a successful position.”
The position was advertised and several applicants were interviewed for the position, however, according to Board of Education vice chairwoman Georgina Zeng, the board selected Mrs. Blount for one reason — she was the most qualified for the position.
“The position was advertised and the board wanted to select the person who was the most qualified for the position,” she stressed. “We needed someone to fill the position and we went through the process. The bottom line is the position is going to benefit our students. “
Zeng said there wasn’t a concern that Mrs. Blount was married to the city schools superintendent.
“Not at all,” she said, pointing to former superintendent Dr. Gene Hales, whose wife and daughter were both employed by the system, as well as Dr. Charles Gainey, another former superintendent whose wife also worked for the system while he was at the helm. “It is something that isn’t new. I am just happy that we will now have somebody in the position to guide these students with their college careers.”
Mrs. Blount will work at Clinton High School.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext.123 or email to email@example.com.