For the record, Charles Nagle’s last presentation to the Columbia County school board pretty much mirrored his seven-year tenure as school superintendent – thoughtful, prepared and efficiently presented in a modest and measured way.
Nagle, who retires at the end of the month, made clear to the five board members that he was offering recommendations and it was the board’s authority to make decisions. He also properly deferred some future questions to those who will take his place, at the same time showing concern for those he leaves behind to run and maintain one of Georgia’s best school systems.
Tuesday night’s meeting was close to being one of the quickest anyone ever remembered, but it did stretch a bit as board members individually and personally thanked the outgoing superintendent.
District 3 member Mike Sleeper, who sometimes differed with Nagle, called him “a man of character,” and added that he couldn’t thank him enough for his help over the years.
“I was proud to be a part of it,” Nagle told the board. “I thank you for this opportunity. It has been a genuine pleasure to serve this community.”
Nagle will be tough to replace but almost everyone thinks Sandra Carraway, his deputy superintendent, will be up to the task.
It will still be a challenge.
The diminished level of state funding for public education for Georgia and other states, makes providing a quality public education an increasingly difficult numbers game.
Despite the challenges, however, our county’s public schools manage to exceed expectations and provide excellent opportunities for every student who walks through the door.
Charles Nagle has had a lot to do with that these past few years. He’s certainly earned retirement. We thank him for his service and the way he handled the job – pretty much the way he handled his final meeting – thoughtful, prepared and efficient.