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DeCamp topic of board’s executive session

COAL GROVE — Dawson-Bryant school officials met for two hours Thursday to discuss efforts to hire a new superintendent, but only a few minutes of it were open to the public and the issue will be the focus of a meeting set for next week.

Just minutes after the Dawson-Bryant Board of Education called the special meeting into session, everyone except board members and certified teachers who are part of the union, were asked to leave as the board went into the closed session.

Under state law, personnel matters can be discussed behind closed doors.

Jerry Rigsby, of Coal Grove, said he stopped by to learn about the possible new superintendent.

“We have two children in the system and we just wanted to come meet the guy and see what was going on,” he said in the school hallway as he waited for the executive session to end. “He will be the decision maker over the schools and that’s an important job. We are just being good citizens.”

After about 10 minutes, the teachers left the board office refusing to comment to the media.

A few minutes later the district’s top superintendent candidate, Dennis DeCamp, who had been director of operations at the Sciotoville Community School since its inception in 2001 until two weeks ago, came in to talk to the board. What they discussed was also not made public.

Board member Sadie Mulkey said the board couldn’t talk about the executive session, again because of state law.

But the board did schedule a public meeting for 5 p.m. Tuesday to discuss offering a contract to DeCamp. The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday, but it conflicted with the school’s parent-teacher conferences.

After the meeting, DeCamp said he was interested in the Dawson-Bryant superintendent position because the school system’s academic record and the work performed by Jim Payne. Payne left the superintendent position to work for Lawrence County Educational Services at the beginning of 2009.

“I knew the people here are quality people because of the state report cards that I see every year with 30 out of 30 (state indicators),” DeCamp said.

DeCamp said he left the Sciotoville Community School system because it was time for a change.

“I’ve been there seven years. I felt like my effectiveness there had diminished and it was time to move on,” he said. “The board allowed me two months to transition out, which I did in October. I wish them well and continued success like they have had for the past couple of years.”

DeCamp is a graduate of Wheelersburg High School, received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ohio University and his master’s degree from the University of Dayton. Prior to taking director of operations at the Sciotoville Community School position, he was an administrator in the Portsmouth City School.