Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

Dispelling rumors

I’m sure many of you out there who either work at the Lee County Schools system, have children who attend there or just follow the district have been watching the selection of Jeff Moss as the next superintendent.

I’ve received some worried calls from employees (and have heard school board members have as well) mainmossly based on reports published in the Beaufort Observer, a tabloid-style publication based in Beaufort County, where Moss is currently district superintendent.

The publication makes a lot of allegations, including that Moss is leaving the district there in “financial ruin.” I’m writing a story for Sunday’s Herald about Moss’ background and his previous jobs. I’ll blog more about this in detail with whatever isn’t included in the print story, but I can say that after talking to Moss in depth today and quite a few Beaufort County School board members, any “financial ruin” allegations are false.

I hope that the finished product provides a clearer picture of Moss and helps filter the facts from the fiction.


December 19, 2008 Posted by | Education | , , , | 1 Comment

Behind the blogging scene of a superintendent search

Jeff Moss is congratulated by Board of Education Vice Chairman Frank Thompson as board member Linda Smith looks on.

Jeff Moss is congratulated by Board of Education Vice Chairman Frank Thompson as board member Linda Smith looks on.

It’s official: Jeff Moss will serve as Lee County Schools next superintendent. Moss, who is currently superintendent of Beaufort County Schools, will start the job Jan. 20.

As I’ve chronicled on this blog, Moss was one of five finalists up for the post. The Lee County Board of Education announced the decision at a special called meeting Tuesday, two days earlier than originally scheduled.

I attended all of the meet-and-greet sessions with the finalists and genuinely liked all of the candidates. However, I did have a hunch the pick was going to be Moss based on a couple of things.

One, the traffic on my blog was higher for Moss than for any other candidate. The entry I wrote about Moss’ visit to Sanford was the most viewed of any of the candidates. More people also found my blog by searching for Moss’ name than for any other candidate. All of this doesn’t add up to a lock, but it did indicate a lot of community interest in him as a candidate. (In all fairness too, an internal candidate could generate less buzz of this kind because the community already knows them).

My second reason for my hunch was really just based on attending the community meet-and-greets for all of the candidates. Moss’ session lasted the longest. In fact, they had to start locking up while people were still there. People’s questions also were very specific and seemed more prepared than at some of the other sessions. All of this led me to believe that the academic community was seeing Moss as a serious possibility.

I’ll be continuing coverage on the choice with a story about Moss’ previous posts. Feel free to weigh in with thoughts and comments about the selection.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Education | , , , | Leave a comment