RICHMOND (WRIC)—On Sunday, the Richmond School Board announced that Dr. Dana Bedden will become the new superintendent of Richmond Public Schools.
The board met for a closed session on Dec. 22, before revealing its final decision. The board had originally planned to announce the new superintendent on Monday, but decided to vote Sunday at the last minute, citing holiday travel.
In January, Dr. Bedden will become the first superintendent to come from outside Richmond in 17 years. He brings a lot of experience; he is the former leader of school systems in both Texas and Georgia.
"He has had experience in other urban environments," said Kristen Larson of the Richmond School Board. "He's ready to go. He has a proven track record. Richmond needs a lot of help right now."
Bedden was one of three finalists out of a pool of nearly 80. Finalist Dr. Anthony Jackson withdrew his name Friday for unknown reasons, leaving only Dr. Bedden and Dr. Calvin Watts.
Last week the three candidates spoke at a community forum, in which Bedden talked about encouraging teachers to be creative.
"Success deserves freedom," Dr. Bedden said. "Because in the end, the goal is students learning and achieving."
The school board voted for Dr. Bedden unanimously.
In particular, Dr. Bedden has experience dealing with transportation, an issue that Richmond Public Schools has had problems with in recent years.
"He seems all about change—going into a district, making the changes that needed to happen," Larson said. "But also at the same time, bringing in the parents and making everybody feel like they're part of the process, and I think that's something that Richmond needs right now."
Next month, Dr. Bedden will become Richmond Public Schools' first full-time superintendent since Dr. Yvonne Brandon resigned earlier this year.
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