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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 1:55pm

Dallemand Gone, Students Disappointed

Starting Wednesday, there is no superintendent at Bibb County public schools.

The school board voted Monday to offer Romain Dallemand a $350,000 contract buyout.

A district spokesperson told the Telegraph that Dallemand’s four assistant superintendents will run things until board members make a decision on interim leadership, possibly at their regular meeting Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, students and staff are still processing the news that their often-polarizing superintendent is gone.

At Central High School, 10th-grader Ryan Partolan said he thinks many of Dallemand’s policies were too drastic for Bibb County, though he agrees with much of what the administration was able to implement in its two years.

"I was OK with the Mandarin Chinese," Partolan said, referring to Dallemand's much-publicized initiative to make the language part of the basic curriculum for every grade level. "I feel like the students should be able to learn Chinese, and like, become part of the global economy like [Dallemand] wanted."

Partolan’s classmate Daija Hunte said she thinks people didn’t give the superintendent’s ideas a fair chance, though she thinks Dallemand shares some of the blame for that. "If his ideas were more thought out, then people would probably be more accepting," she said.

Regardless, Dallemand did not stay to implement his ideas, Hunte noted. "I guess we could take from his ideas," she said, "but if he’s not there to carry them out, then it's kind of like another failed attempt at reforming the school system."

Interviews with Hunte and Partolan were conducted by students from the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University.