Two finalists for Columbia County's next superintendent were named in a Tuesday school board meeting.
Charles Nagle, associate superintendent for Columbia County schools, and Steve Wilmoth, a superintendent in Liberty County, Ga., were chosen from a pool of 22 applicants for the job.
"It's been a long process, and to make it into the final consideration is very exciting," Nagle said. "I'm anxious to hear the final decision."
Wilmoth said Wednesday that he didn't want to comment until he received word of his finalist status from a school official.
Superintendent Tommy Price announced in June that he would retire at the end of this school year.
After interviews Saturday with three candidates, a search committee decided on Nagle and Wilmoth. The third candidate, Clark County school system Superintendent Lewis Holloway, did not receive the committee's recommendation.
A second round of interviews with Nagle and Wilmoth will be conducted by the school board in January, school board Chairman Wayne Bridges said.
In a written report filed by the search committee, members noted Nagle's longtime service with the school system and successful record.
Nagle came to Columbia County from Claxton, Ga., in 1989. He served as a principal at Riverside Elementary School and Riverside Middle School before becoming associate superintendent eight years ago.
In the same report, committee members praised Wilmoth's work to develop a partnership with private schools to help at-risk high school students and his establishment of a stand-alone preschool facility.
At least one committee member stated concern that Liberty County is considerably smaller than Columbia County. Wilmoth's resume lists Liberty County's student population at about 12,000. More than 21,000 students are enrolled in Columbia County.
In other meeting news, the board accepted the resignations of two cafeteria workers from Riverside Elementary who were accused of stealing food.
Before Tuesday's board meeting, Price said Marguerite Butts and Shelia Lowe are suspected of stealing uneaten food items, such as unopened pudding containers, from student lunch trays before they were discarded. He said he is unsure how much merchandise the women might have taken, but he doesn't believe it is much.
School officials notified the Columbia County Sheriff's Office of the incident, he said. As of Wednesday afternoon, neither woman had been arrested, a Columbia County jailor said.
Also, the board awarded RCN Contracting Inc. a $1.04 million contract to build 12 classrooms onto Lewiston Elementary School. Bids to build 12 more classrooms onto River Ridge Elementary will be opened Thursday.
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