Wed., May 1, 2013 1:28pm (EDT)

New Schools Chief 'Not Giving Up'
By Adam Ragusea
Updated: 1 year ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Former Central High School principal Steve Smith is coming out of retirement to temporarily fill the void left by polarizing superintendent Romain Dallemand, who stepped down in Februrary. (File photo: Ashley Hopkinson for GPB)
Former Central High School principal Steve Smith is coming out of retirement to temporarily fill the void left by polarizing superintendent Romain Dallemand, who stepped down in Februrary. (File photo: Ashley Hopkinson for GPB)
The newly-selected interim superintendent of Bibb County schools feels "a calling" to do the job.

Former Central High School principal Steve Smith is coming out of retirement to temporarily fill the void left by polarizing superintendent Romain Dallemand, who stepped down in February.

Smith has been living a quiet life in Valdosta since retiring as superintendent of Lowndes County schools in 2012. His return to Bibb County comes as the school board moves to cut nearly a hundred teacher and staff positions to help close a budget gap.

"You know, I've had people say to me 'have you lost your mind,' or 'how do you think you can make a difference,'" Smith said. "I can’t make a difference as an individual, but working together in partnership with the others, we can make a difference. I'm not giving up."

Smith said Macon and Bibb County gave him 34 great years, and this is the least he can do to give back; "To help people heal, help restore the confidence in the school system, and clear a pathway to attract the best and brightest and highest quality superintendent that we can attract," he said.

While Smith's hiring is not yet official, he plans to be in Macon Wednesday as accreditation officials wrap up the regular evaluation of the school system they perform every five years.