Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
After much deliberation, the Valdosta City School System announced Thursday the finalists for the school superintendent position that will be assumed after current VCS Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason retires.
The top three candidates are Dr. Deborah Lynette Demps, Dr. William A. Hunter and Edward Martin Roesch. They were chosen by the Valdosta Board of Education working in collaboration with the Georgia School Board Association to conduct the superintendent search.
“We started the process with over 30 applicants,” said VBOE Chairman Trey Sherwood.
The pool of candidates was then narrowed down to five which the board interviewed. After interviews were conducted, the board selected who they felt were the top three contenders.
Dr. Deborah Lynette Demps
Demps is currently the director of special education for the Brooks County Board of Education, a position she has held for three years.
In the past, Demps has served as a curriculum director for Brooks County Schools, an assistant principal at Brooks County High School, and three separate teaching positions between 1982 and 1996 for Brooks County.
Her education includes a bachelor of science in early childhood education from Valdosta State, a master’s of education in early childhood education from Valdosta State, an Ed.S in educational leadership from Valdosta State University and a Ed.D in educational leadership from VSU.
Demps’ honors and awards include the GREA Outstanding Educator Award from the Brooks County Retired Educators Association and Georgia Retired Educators Association, appreciation for dedicated service to Quitman Elementary School, the first African-American recipient of Valdosta State University’s doctorate of education, African-American Studies program, congressional recognition for outstanding achievement from Congressman Sanford Bishop, the Outstanding Achievement Award from Georgia Association of Educators, Meritorious Support Award from Brooks County Family Connection, Teacher of the Year at Quitman Elementary School, and outstanding leadership as a local association president for the Georgia Association of Educators.
Dr. William A. Hunter
Hunter is not currently employed but has formerly served as the superintendent of McIntosh County Schools in Darien between 2006 and 2012, superintendent of Brantley County Schools in Nahunta from 1996 to 2006, associate professor of educational leadership at Valdosta State University between 1992 and 1996, superintendent of Searcy Public Schools in Searcy, Ark., from 1988 to 1992, vice president of First State Savings Bank in Mountain Home, Ark., between 1985 and 1987, superintendent of Mountain Home Schools in Mountain Home between 1979 and 1985, assistant superintendent of Mountain Homes schools between 1977 and 1979, Mountain Home Middle School principal between 1975 and 1977, a graduate assistant for Arkansas State University between 1973 and 1975, and a teacher, counselor and coach at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Ark. between 1971 and 1973.
Hunter’s education includes a B.S. in psychology/science from the University of Central Arkansas, a M.S. Ed. in counselor education from UCA, a Ed.S in educational administration from Arkansas State University and a Ed.D. in educational administration from the University of Arkansas.
Hunter has been involved with several professional organizations including being a member of the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force, a member of the Georgia’s School Delegation to Study United Kingdom School Finance, on the board of directors for the Georgia Schools Superintendent Association, a chairperson for the RESA Board of Control, president of the Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia, the Georgia School Superintendent Association Legislative Committee, past board member of the Georgia Accrediting Commission, the American Association of School Administrators, assessor for the NASSP Superintendent’s Assessment Center, assessor for the NASSP Principal’s Assessment Center, past president of the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation, past president of the Arkansas Association of School Business Officials, representative for Arkansas superintendents in the Arkansas Higher Education Study Commission, and former chair of the Department of Educational Leadership Program Review Committee at Valdosta State University.
Edward Martin “Marty” Roesch
Roesch, who has spent his entire 25-year career in the Valdosta City School System, is currently the assistant superintendent of finance for VCS and has been in the position since 2008.
He has formerly served as a teacher at West Gordon Elementary School between 1988 and 1994, assistant principal at Newbern Middle School between 1994 and 1997, assistant principal at Valdosta High School from 1997 to 1998, and principal of Valdosta Middle School from 1998 to 2008.
His education includes a college-prep diploma from VHS, a B.S. in middle grades education from Valdosta State, an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Valdosta State, and a Ed.S in educational leadership from Valdosta State University.
Roesch’s honors and awards include being a graduate of the 2002 Leadership Lowndes class and being named an honorary commander at Moody Air Force Base between 2003 and 2004.
Roesch has served the Valdosta community extensively by working with organizations such as Relay for Life, the American Heart Association, Group Work Camps, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Kiwanis Club, 100 Black Men of Valdosta, the United Way, Valdosta Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.
According to Sherwood, the new VCS superintendent will be named soon.
“We will name our superintendent as soon as possible after the minimum 14-day waiting period,” said Sherwood.