Dr. Sandra Carraway was sworn in Tuesday as the new superintendent of the Columbia County School System.
Carraway was named the deputy superintendent six years ago under Charles Nagle, who she replaced.
Carraway was selected to head the school system in December after a 2½-month search that involved 17 other applicants.
She was a frontrunner for the position early on, said one board member.
“To say she was the strongest ... without a doubt, she was,” board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said.
Before serving as deputy superintendent for more than five years, Carraway was assistant superintendent of student support for the school system, principal of Greenbrier High and Riverside Middle schools and an assistant principal at Evans and Harlem high schools. She also taught English and Spanish at Harlem High.
Carraway, a Harlem High graduate, received a doctorate in education administration from Georgia Southern University in 2001.
“I couldn’t work for a better school system,” Carraway said.
She said her aspirations of one day becoming the superintendent began nearly seven years ago when she was hired to serve under Nagle.
“I’ve been studying for a long time,” said Carraway, calling the retired Nagle a great mentor.
“My primary goal will be to ensure that every day when the students and teachers come to school that they have what they need to get the best education possible in a great school system,” she said.
Carraway initially was one of 18 candidates who applied for the job, but a 14-member search committee narrowed the list to two last November, when they chose to interview Carraway and an out-of-state candidate.
The other candidate, whose name will remain private, decided to withdraw, school board attorney Pete Fletcher said.