Moss selected to lead Lee County schools

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

By Staff
His ventures includeprogram to recruitteachers from area
Staff Writer
Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss has accepted the job as head of the Lee County school system.
He doesn’t expect leaving Beaufort County to be easy.
Moss’ new job begins Jan. 20.
Moss said he’ll miss Beaufort County, adding that leaving likely will be “one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.”
William S. Warren, who represents District 4 on the Board of Education, said he “most assuredly” will miss Moss.
White said Moss still had time on his contract, but the board should have renewed it during the second half of this year to send Moss a strong signal to stay.
Moss came to Beaufort County at the start of 2004 from his job as superintendent of the Stanly County school system. Before that, he worked as an assistant superintendent and associate superintendent in Hoke County.
Asked about his relationship with the board, Moss said he still respects the board and thinks the board still respects him.
Earlier this week, the Beaufort County Board of Education voted to accept a proposal from Moss detailing where to find the more than $282,000 the state has demanded be returned as a result of the faltering economy. The board also voted to accept five proposed cost-cutting measures in case the state makes more budget cuts.
Moss said the school system is stable, and transition to a new executive won’t be difficult.
Moss said he hired almost all the principals in the county and most of the Beaufort County Schools administration.
He also said the funding agreement that manages funding from the county to the school system will help provide stability.
The system’s coffers are significantly fuller now than when he came, Moss said, and the school system has completed bond-funded construction on time and within budget.
Moss said he’s also proud of innovations like College Academy and technological improvements in the schools.
And he said he’s felt at home in Beaufort County for the past five years.
Bill Tatum, chairman of the Lee County Board of Education, praised Moss’ background in finance and performance in Beaufort County.
Warren said Moss will succeed wherever he goes because he has great skills.
Moss said he was recruited for the job in Lee County by a national search firm and that his new job will offer exciting challenges.
The school system in Lee County, home to the city of Sanford, is slightly larger than Beaufort County’s school system, Moss said. Lee County, about 30 minutes from Raleigh, is in a part of the state he is familiar with, Moss said.
The realignment at nearby Fort Bragg, which is expected to bring development, new residents and new school children over the next several years, is expected to affect Lee County.
Moss was one of five finalists for the Lee County position chosen by a citizen committee.
A release from the Lee County school system praised Moss for his work on the Beaufort County Early College High School program, instituting dress codes and distance-learning programs and the Grow Our Own Teachers program, which provides scholarships to local high-school students in exchange for five years of service as teachers in Beaufort County.
Moss will replace James T. McCormick, who resigned as superintendent June 30. McCormick was under pressure over allegations he had a two-year affair with a teacher in the Lee County school system. He is facing a civil suit stemming from those allegations.