In July word came that the superintendent of the Beaufort County School District, Valerie Truesdale, was retiring and then leaving to be the technology leader for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, and now we know who the district will turn to while a search is done for the next superintendent.
On Tuesday, the Beaufort County Board of Education unanimously appointed Jackie Rosswurm, a 40-year educator who has served as the district's human resources chief for the past five years, as acting superintendent effective October 1.
The Board also appointed a four-person search committee and asked the group to deliver a timeline to select a new superintendent. Laura Bush and Bill Evans will be co-chairs, and they will be joined by Earl Campbell and George Wilson.
"We can't afford to lose the positive momentum we have now in terms of improved student achievement," said Board Chair Fred S. Washington, Jr. "We have to keep moving forward, particularly in terms of attacking the complex problem of reducing academic achievement gaps among groups of students."
Washington also tasked the search committee with outlining a process to select a new superintendent and ensuring that community input plays a significant role.
Board members praised the choice of Rosswurm as acting superintendent, saying that her knowledge of the district's staff and academic programs, together with her knowledge of the community, would make her an excellent fit for the role and guarantee stability during the search.
"I really do believe in this district, and I believe in our 20,000 students and our dedicated team of educators," Rosswurm said. "I've got to say that I'm honored to have the Board's confidence and faith that I can be an effective leader while the Board's search for a new superintendent is carried out."
Rosswurm's 40 years as an educator include experience as an elementary and middle school teacher, as principal at H.E. McCracken Middle School and four years as senior advisor to the State Superintendent of Education. She also served as executive director and principal of two charter schools in Atlanta and one in Savannah. For the past five years, she has been Beaufort County's administrative and human resource services chief.