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Bibb County School Board Votes to Buy Out Dallemand's Contract as Superintendent

by Amanda Smith

The Bibb County School Board has voted 7-1 to end School Board Superintendent Romain Dallemand’s contract, in the amount of $350,000; board member Lester Miller was the only dissenting vote. Under the terms of the agreement, Dallemand agreed to remain in his position until the money is transferred to his account and to remain available to the school board president until June 30, 2013 to ease the transition. The Bibb County School Board will also pay Dallemand's legal fees incurred from lawsuits that have been brought against the former superintendent.

The buyout comes amid controversy over several aspects of Dallemand's tenure since he took office in February of 2011 including furniture and moving expenses incurred by the superintendent that the school board paid. The administration also drew controversy over his handling of the state's open records and meetings laws and a complaint from The Macon Telegraph prompted a visit from the State Attorney Generals’ office.

The school board has been in court recently over two lawsuits including one brought by Ron Collier, the school system's former Chief Financial Officer. Collier tried to stop lease payments to the Macon Promise Center, citing that the payments violated state law. He also maintains that Dallemand demoted him to a director position after he asked questions about a check made out to the Promise Center. Another lawsuit brought by a Macon resident contends that the terms of the contract that the board voted on in December did not match the contract that Dallemand signed.

Dallemand's Macon Miracle, the strategic plan designed to initiate sweeping plans across the board in the Bibb County school system, passed the board vote of 5-3 in March of 2012 amid public outcry over items in the plan that included a year-round school year and mandatory Mandarin Chinese classes.

The school board unanimously named Deputy Superintendent Susanne Griffin-Ziebart as acting superintendent on February 28th to replace Dallemand.

"There has been a lot of hate, division, anger and criticism and we have been divided," said board member Thelma Dillard. "This is a time to heal and we must come together as a community for the education system to be viable. My job is to work within the board to help our children have the best possible education," she continued. "I'm working for a new beginning and I hope the community will come together to make that happen."

elaine lucas
Romain Dallemand