When Dr. Bill Cason announced his plans to step down as superintendent immediately on Monday night, it was a surprise to everyone in the system, including the man recently hired to take his place.
Cason has served the Valdosta School System well and will still officially retire at the end of the semester, but said he felt it was time for new superintendent, Marty Roesch, to step in and take over. Cason stated that having two bosses is not ideal for anyone, and he didn’t want any conflicts to stand in Roesch’s way as he begins planning for the future of the system.
Cason has done a tremendous job during his tenure, and by stepping aside now but remaining as an advisor, Roesch will have an easier transition into the role.
It’s difficult to walk into a new job anywhere, but for Roesch, the last 25 years have been a learning process to get him to where he is today. Holding positions throughout the system, including leadership roles, he has had the opportunity to learn from the bottom up, which will serve him well in understanding the needs of various schools.
Too many entities today consider outsiders before their own employees when top positions come open. It’s demoralizing to the employees not to promote from within, sending a message that the work you’ve done and the loyalty you’ve demonstrated isn’t enough. When the Valdosta school board recognized that one of their own was the best fit for the superintendent’s position, just as the Lowndes system did last year, it was a sign to others in the systems that the work they are doing and the training they are receiving is of the highest caliber.
With the possibility of state and federal budget cuts looming, and the ever-increasing performance standards placed on public education, Superintendent Roesch has his work cut out for him. But coming from solid and familiar ground gives him the edge he will need to position the school system for continued excellence.