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Departing superintendent offers parting thoughts

From Dr. Don Phipps

Thank you to the Beaufort County Board of Education for the opportunity to serve. Members on the Board of Education who hired me and who are no longer serving include: Robert Belcher, William Warren, Cindy Winstead, Teresa Banks and Mike Isbell. Thanks as well to current members: Mac Hodges, E.C. Peed, Eltha Booth, Barbara Boyd Williams, Terry Williams, Carolyn Walker, Butch Oliver, Michael Bilbro and Terry Draper. I am grateful for the working relationship that I have enjoyed with each board member and the work that we have engaged in together.

Lisa Duke has been an incredible work partner and person to help get the job done, whatever the job happens to be. John Conway, Patrick Abele, Laurie Modlin, Mark Doane, Andrea Lilley, Greg Singleton, Stan Hudson, Steve Toler, Lynn Harrold and Willie Mac Carawan have served with me at the cabinet level and their input and candidness have been greatly appreciated. There have been many other BCS employees who I have worked with closely and I want to thank you all. I am afraid to start naming each one for fear that I would accidently leave someone out.

For the BCS students, employees, school volunteers, county and municipal leaders, department and agency heads, elected officials, pastors/clergy and members of the community — thank you for allowing me to serve and thank you for serving with me.

This community and the Beaufort County School system have made an impression on me and my family. Three of my children will have diplomas from BCS and I am very proud of that. I feel blessed to have been associated with Beaufort County Schools and the communities that we serve.

My eight and a half years here have provided me with many learning experiences and I hope that over this time period I have grown personally and professionally to be a better person. In this job, I learned quickly that you will rarely, if ever, make a decision that everyone agrees with and that most everyone has a strong opinion about education-related topics. However, when decisions are made for the benefit of our students and improving their educational experience, it is well worth it.

While I am leaving this county to become the superintendent in Caldwell County, I will always have an interest in your work and success and there will always be a piece of me here. Together we have done great work, but there is still work to be done. With the leadership of the board and the talent and commitment of the team members of BCS and active engagement of the community, I have no doubt that great things lie ahead.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve you and for welcoming me and my family into this community. I wish you nothing but good luck and great success in the work that lies ahead.