Shotwell interim contract through Sept. 30

By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Interim Superintendent Dr. Rodney Shotwell will stay with Hoke County Schools until September 30, 2023, according to his contract with the school system.

By that time, the district will likely have hired a permanent new superintendent to fill the vacant position, based on a projected timeline of the hiring process provided by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA).

The school district is paying Shotwell $16,150 per month, or an apparent total of $48,450 for his three months of work with Hoke County Schools as interim superintendent. He is not eligible for employee benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, annual vacation leave or longevity. Shotwell “specifically waives the right to receive any contributions to his retirement account,” the contract said, and added that the interim superintendent “acknowledges and agrees that he is solely responsible for any changes in his retirement status caused by his employment with the Board” – but both the district and Shotwell didn’t believe the agreement would affect his retirement status, the document described.

Shotwell retired last year from his long career in education, departing as Rockingham County Schools superintendent. 

The interim superintendent’s contract was signed with a date of July 6 and retroactively took effect as of July 1.

“Dr. Shotwell will serve as the Interim Superintendent from July 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023, unless this Contract is terminated pursuant to paragraph 8,” the contract said. Paragraph 8 of the contract specified that either Shotwell or the board “may unilaterally terminate this Contract at any time by giving 15 days prior written notice to the other party, in which case all compensation and other obligations on this contract will cease on the termination date.”

The contract additionally set forth that Shotwell may continue in his role “as an independent education consultant provided that his consulting services do not interfere with his ability to fully perform his duties as an employee with the Hoke County Schools.” 

Dr. Shannon Register, the district’s assistant superintendent of secondary education, had served in the role of interim superintendent since February when former superintendent Dr. Debra Dowless resigned. Register’s contract with the district as interim superintendent ended on June 30, the end of the previous fiscal year.

Shotwell served with Rockingham County Schools from 2006 until 2022. He is originally from Alamance County and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has also taught at the graduate and doctoral level for universities in the North Carolina collegiate system, and served on many boards in the state related to education. He was named the North Carolina A. Craig Phillips State Superintendent of the Year in 2015.

The Hoke County Board of Education continues the process of hiring a new superintendent. The meetings for initial interviews and to select the finalists, and final round questions were scheduled to take place this month in closed session. Meetings for final interviews and to decide on terms of offer will take place in early August, and will also be closed. 

The board held a closed session-only meeting Friday and has another one scheduled for July 31, both closed to discuss confidential personnel matters.

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