LAKELAND — The Lanier County Board of Education appointed an interim superintendent at its special called meeting Wednesday.

After a brief executive session, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Tom Hagler, Gainesville, Fla., to fill the position left vacant by former Superintendent Eloise Sorrell’s resignation earlier this year.

Hagler spent six years as the superintendent for Lowndes County before retiring three years ago. With his 26 years of experience as a superintendent, the Board and the community expressed their enthusiasm at Hagler’s acceptance of the position.

“We are gonna do everything in our power to improve this system,” Hagler said. “And I’m convinced that if we work together we can make this system a fine, fine school district and one that everybody, parents, students, community, business can be proud of.”

Hagler also stated that he would make himself available to members of the community at any time and that his office would always be open.

One citizen commented that this new appointment was the “first step toward healing.”

The Board also voted to give Hagler the authority to hire a consultant and a deputy superintendent to assist in the situation surrounding the school system’s accreditation with SACS CASI.

The school system is currently on “probation of show cause” with the accrediting body and is in danger of losing its accreditation if certain problems are not addressed. The system was placed on probation for failure to meet the governance standard for maintaining accreditation and was later placed on “probation of show cause” after the review team found no signs of improvement after a second visit to the city.

In other business, the Board also approved a spending resolution for July, which is 1/12 of the fiscal year budget, that has yet to be approved in its entirety.

The Board also voted unanimously to release seven members of the school system faculty.

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