Charles Nagle was chosen as Columbia County's next school superintendent in a Tuesday school board meeting.
The Columbia County school board picked Nagle over Liberty County Superintendent Steve Wilmoth.
Nagle said he believes community support and the support of his fellow educators tipped the scales in his favor.
"They know I have a real love for this school system," he said.
Nagle's selection ended a search process that began in August to find a successor for Superintendent Tommy Price, who is retiring.
A search committee selected Wilmoth and Nagle as the finalists for the county's top education post in December.
"What I'm most proud of is the process we went through and the thoroughness of it," school board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said.
Nagle has been the associate superintendent in Columbia County since 1999, according to his application.
Prior to that, he was an administrator or teacher in Columbia County schools since 1989.
Nagle's good communication skills and calm demeanor make him a natural for superintendent, Price said.
"I think with this job you have to be able to look at all sides of an issue before you make a decision," he said. "That's very important and (Nagle) is good at that."
The board still has to officially offer Nagle the post and negotiate a salary before his selection is finalized. Should he accept, he would assume the post in July.
Also at the meeting, the board gave final approval to a rezoning plan prompted by the August opening of a new elementary school in Grovetown.
More than 650 pupils from Brookwood, Euchee Creek and Grovetown elementary schools will be relocated to the new school.
About 75 students currently zoned for Lewiston Elementary will be sent to Euchee Creek Elementary.
The board authorized Price to conclude negotiations for buying land for a new high school.
The board had attempted to condemn 70.4 acres of the property, located at the corner of Chamblin and Baker Place roads, when it previously could not come to terms with the landowners.
The issue was set to appear before a court-appointed special master, but school officials hope to resolve the matter before it reaches that stage.
Price would not disclose the financial terms of the offer.
Earlier this month, board attorney Bill Fleming said school officials initially offered $16,000 per acre for the land, but owners wanted $21,000 per acre.
Price expects the board to vote on the deal at the next board meeting Feb. 13.
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