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January 3, 2014

Chandler pleased with first year on school board

MILLEDGEVILLE — When Lyn Chandler was welcomed to the Baldwin County Board of Education last year, his goal was to work diligently to address challenges facing the school system and his District 3 constituents. 

Chandler said his first year on the school board has “been a good experience.”

“I have enjoyed getting to know the other board members. We’ve had some challenges we’ve met,” he said. “We have really come together as a team to work toward a better school system.”

Among a few issues Chandler plans to continue his focus on during his tenure on the school board is the high school drop out rate, school safety and having a balanced budget. Baldwin High School’s 2013 graduation rate increased by 2 percent compared to the previous year — from 62.8 percent in 2012 to 64.8 percent in 2013.

“I’m pleased our graduation rate improved; that’s good and that shows we’re moving in the right direction. We will continue to work to improve our overall graduation rate,” Chandler said. “I also hope we will be able to put together a balanced budget and maintain it. I fought about the changes we’ve made about the purchasing policy. We also have more public input than we have had before, which has been a group decision.”

The Georgia School Boards Association is in the early stages of conducting the initial search and evaluation for a new school superintendent for the Baldwin County school system, and a public forum will soon be held to receive input from the community on the characteristics it would like to see in the new superintendent.

“I think our single largest challenge right now is to get a good superintendent. We need to make sure we get a person who can make this community work together toward the best system we have here as we move forward,” Chandler said. “After we get community input, then we can develop criteria in the selection process. The plan right now is to open the application period by the end of January.”

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School staff were evacuated from Midway Elementary School around 1:30 p.m. due to a gas leak from a nearby tap station. Highway 441 South was closed for approximately an hour as Baldwin County Fire Rescue personnel and Southern Natural Gas employees worked to determine the cause of the leak.

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