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Romain Dallemand Gives His First Year "an A-Plus" | News

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Romain Dallemand Gives His First Year "an A-Plus"
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Romain Dallemand says a year ago when he started as Bibb County Schools superintendent, he set a list of goals, including assessing the district and holding listening sessions with employees and parents, creating a summer reading initiative, and developing a strategic plan.

He said he's checked off the entire list.

"I can proudly say that I have accomplished everything that was included in the action steps, and so if it's based on performance, I would say I got an A-plus," he said.

On March 10, Dallemand reorganized central office staffing, and cut ten jobs. About a month later, he unveiled his first budget which was $5 million more than last school year's. In that budget, he cut 87 positions and stopped pay raises to eliminate furlough days.

He then added 13 people to his staff-- five elementary school principals and eight central office workers. He said hiring that dream team was a crucial step.

"I needed to have individuals who are on board and ready to support me and help me in the direction I need to take the district toward,"  said Dallemand.

August 12, Dallemand said he would fire Westside High School principal Laura Perkins for allegedly mishandling a $1.7 million grant, and incompetence. But less than a month later, he reinstated Perkins because he said he found new information that changed his mind. Again on September 26th, he reversed a July decision to fire assistant superintendent April Garner because of information she withheld in her job interview.

On November 3, Dallemand pushed the idea of year round schools as part of the strategic plan for the district, but he later played down the idea, saying it needs planning and he didn't want to rush it. And at a Tuesday news conference, he said he didn't know Macon Police weren't handling the alleged rape at Northeast High until Monday.

Dallemand said these were not signs of weak leadership and his critics are uninformed, but he declined any further comment on the rape case.

Dallemand said his strategic plan will determine his success in the future.

On September 19th, he held the first district-wide strategic planning session where teachers, parents, community leaders and business owners brainstormed about where student achievement should be in five years, and how to get there.

Dallemand says the community will not be disappointed if they rally behind the plan.

"Changing this system will require a lot of sacrifices," he said. "It will require hard work, and it will require that all of us as a community step up to the plate and make personal sacrifices. And so what folks should expect, they need to expect a bold plan with bold recommendations, a plan that will revolutionize, galvanize change and improve the future of our community, and they need to get behind the plan."

On December 15, Dallemand suggested and the school board approved changes to the district's mission and vision statements, core values, and theory of action. He said they set a clear foundation for the strategic plan he will present on February 10.

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