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Deloatch is out

WINTON — After nearly four years on the job, Hertford County Public School Superintendent Dennis Deloatch will not return to that position.

On Monday night the Hertford County Board of Education decided to not renew Deloatch’s contract.

In front of a standing room only meeting Monday night, Deloatch made an appeal to the board to make a decision on his fate.

The board then went into a closed session and returned with a vote of 3-2 not to renew the contract of Deloatch who has served as the Hertford County Superintendent for almost four years.

Board Chairman David L. Shields, Vice Chairman Rev. Patrick H. Young and board member J. Wendell Hall all voted against renewing the contract of Deloatch, which expires on June 30 of this year. Board members Ronald G. Baker and John D. Horton voted in favor of renewing the contract of the superintendent.

After most of the items on the evening’s agenda had been addressed, Deloatch read from a prepared statement expressing both his desire to remain in the community as well as his frustration with the board having not yet made a decision on his future.

The superintendent’s announcement drew no reaction or response from any of the board members at the time.

In an interview with Shields on Tuesday afternoon, the chairman offered a response to the board’s decision.

&uot;I am very sorry that it had to come to this. I really am,&uot; Shields said.

Shields declined to give any details about how the board came to its decision but did add that the group had already contacted the North Carolina School Board Association to help in the search for a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy caused by Deloatch’s departure.

&uot;Until we are able to make a decision on a new superintendent, someone will be appointed to fill that position on an interim basis beginning July 1,&uot; Shields added.

Shields went on to say that a decision still had to made concerning who would occupy the office until a new superintendent is put in place, but the board had not made that assessment as of yet.

In a telephone interview the day after his fate had been decided, Deloatch was articulate about the process that brought him and the board to this point.

&uot;To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. I have served this community in several capacities as an educator and an administrator for over 30 years,&uot; Deloatch said.

Deloatch added that as recently as three weeks ago, he was given a vote of confidence by the chairman that he would be retained in his current capacity.

&uot;I have approached the chairman on several occasions to try to get a decision on my future here and I was never given the impression that I would not be allowed to return,&uot; Deloatch chimed in.

When asked if he knew why the board had not made a decision on his situation before Monday night, Deloatch said, &uot;I feel that the leadership was not up to the task of making expedient decisions, primarily because of some personal issues.&uot;

While speaking to the board as well as members of the general public that attended the meeting Monday, Deloatch said that he was proud of several academic improvements and accomplishments made during his tenure. Deloatch noted that the district’s teacher turnover rate had decreased by nearly 50 percent, and test scores have improved every year that he held his position.

Deloatch also pointed to the fact that he helped oversee and organize the partnership with the State Employees Credit Union to build the proposed teacher-housing complex as well as managed the upgraded internet system of Hertford County schools.

Deloatch explained that he had been pursued on several occasions last year with offers of employment and needed to make a decision on his future as the rationale for making an official request to the board for an immediate decision.