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Foster resigns as Colleton’s top leader

Dr. Franklin Foster

CORRECTION: In this article, it is reported that Dr. Franklin Foster made $191,000 per year. That is incorrect: that amount is for approximately 16 months of his serving the Colleton County School District. The $191,000 reflects from the time of his resignation to the end of his original contract, which is June 30 of 2021.

Dr. Franklin Foster has resigned as superintendent of the Colleton County School District.
Foster’s resignation was formally submitted on Monday, during a special-called meeting of the Colleton County School Board. The entire board voted unanimously to accept his resignation: school board member Tim Mabry was not present at Monday’s meeting.
During Monday’s meeting, Foster resigned, and the board immediately thanked him for his five years of service. The board then went into immediate executive session behind closed doors to discuss personnel issues.
Foster’s resignation comes after the school board voted in December to approve Foster’s job performance, giving him an overall “effective” job rating. Colleton County School Board Member William Bowman was the lone vote of opposition against Foster’s job performance.
Following that approval of his job performance, however, the board had not made any further decisions about Foster’s contract.
Word of Foster’s likely resignation began on Friday; however, school district officials denied Foster’s resignation at that point, saying nothing had occurred.
As of press deadline on Tuesday, district Spokesman Sean Gruber said the school district’s separation from Foster is “the result of amicable discussion and agreement between Dr. Foster and the board.”
“ … it is not a disciplinary action or related to any allegations of wrongdoing,” said Gruber, in a written statement.
Foster will remain on paid leave through Feb. 8th to help assist the two people who will be temporarily moving into his role.
He will also act as a consultant for the new administration for up to 60 days.
“Dr. Foster was well-known through Coleton County as a dedicated advocate of public education with a progressive leadership style,” said Gruber. “During his time as superintendent, he streamlined the district’s procedures and policies to increase its organizational effectiveness. He also oversaw the construction of a new district office,” said Gruber.

School board Member William Bowman said on Tuesday that the board would be hiring an interim superintendent in “approximately 2-3 weeks” to manage the district until a permanent superintendent is chosen. The timeline for choosing a permanent superintendent will happen after the upcoming November election. This is because of several school board members are up for re-election, said Bowman.
Until the interim superintendent is chosen, the school board has named two current district employees as “acting” leaders: Jessica Williams is the acting superintendent overall academic departments and Cliff Warren will be the acting superintendent overall financial departments and operational departments.
Bowman also said that the school board was currently negotiating the terms of Foster’s contract with the district when he tendered his resignation. Foster’s contract was valid through June 30 of 2021, with a salary of $191,000.
According to Bowman, the school board also agreed to pay Foster $120,000 as a buyout of his current contract with the school district.
“We, the board, had no information or evidence of any systemic controversy or improprieties which may have affected stakeholder interest or investments, nor did we receive any rationale or causes which instigated his request,” Bowman said, on his social media platform. “We wish him much success in his future professional endeavors.”
Top Take-Aways
• Dr. Franklin Foster resigned as superintendent on Monday night, effective the prior Friday.
• He will remain as a consultant with the district for up to 60 days.
• The Colleton County School Board will buy him out of his current contract, at $120,000.
• A permanent superintendent won’t be chosen until after the upcoming November school board elections.
• The search for an interim superintendent will begin in about three weeks.
• For now, two current district leaders will serve as co-acting superintendents.

Heather Walters (1700 Posts)