Ragsdale expected to be sole interim Cobb superintendent finalist
by Jon Gillooly
April 09, 2014 11:55 PM | 10474 views | 23 23 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
02-19-14 -- Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent of Cobb schools. Staff/Jeff Stanton
02-19-14 -- Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent of Cobb schools. Staff/Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — The Cobb Board of Education is expected to name Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent of operational support, as the sole finalist for interim superintendent during a press conference this morning, according to sources inside the school system who asked not to be identified.

If appointed, Ragsdale would step up to fill the role left by Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who in a surprise announcement in February said he was moving back home to Dallas, Texas, to be with family, rather than serve the remainder of his contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2014.

Ragsdale came to Cobb in 2006 when he was hired by then-Superintendent Fred Sanderson as chief information officer. He held the same position at Paulding County Schools.

As Cobb’s deputy superintendent of operations, Ragsdale oversees a staff of about 2,000, including such departments as technology, SPLOST, construction, maintenance and safety.

Ragsdale, 45, was born in Marietta’s Kennestone Hospital and grew up in Paulding County, where he lives with his family, including his 12-year-old daughter. His mother, Brenda Ragsdale, is a retired Paulding County elementary school teacher, and his father, Glen, retired as vice president of an industrial air-conditioning company.

Ragsdale received a bachelor of science in information systems at Kennesaw State University and is enrolled in Shorter University’s executive MBA program.

John Adams, executive director of Educators First, a nonunion professional association representing about 2,000 teachers, the bulk of whom are in Cobb, is a former Cobb police officer, teacher and Cobb School District human resources director. Adams said he’s known Ragsdale for 11 years and worked with him closely for a majority of that time. Adams said if the board appoints Ragsdale as interim superintendent, it would be “a great decision.”

“It represents a bold departure from the same old, same old,” Adams said. “It shows that the board is willing to do something different to try to get an even better result. I think it’s a great opportunity for the central office to restore the trust of the teachers and the people on the front lines.”

Adams believes teachers should take confidence in a board appointment of Ragsdale.

“There were lots of folks, obviously, they could have chosen who were career educators, what (former board member) John Abraham used to call ‘educrats.’ Chris is not one of those,” Adams said. “Chris is a technology guy and has tremendous knowledge and control of a huge part of the district’s budget. He’s a technology and operations guy, and that’s going to be at least as important to teachers as someone who has a more traditional background. It’s a bold move, but I think it’s a fantastic one and will send a message to teachers that it’s not just business as usual for the Cobb County School District.”

Comments
(23)
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Another Teacher
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April 10, 2014
He has wasted so many dollars of our SPLOST $$$ on fiber and technology that our parent groups have bought...we question the fact that different vendors (but the same individuals) show up at our schools to initiate the changes!
Good luck
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April 10, 2014
Good luck to Mr.Ragsdale. I sure hope he and the board make sound decisions regarding the budget. It is an election year, so the state threw money our way. The following year, we can expect to be in the same position as these past few years. It sounds like the board is not going to make permanent solutions to save money though. They are giving a step increase and not furloughing, but if that comes at the expense of higher class sizes, they still need to look at half-day kindergarten and other out of the box ideas to save money! Schools are not a babysitting service, and it doesn't make sense to have kinder for a whole day when the rest of the country has half day and it saves 18 million!
elem teacher
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April 09, 2014
I am a member of Educators First and respect John Adams' opinion; therefore, I feel very good about the choice. I'm happy that he isn't an "educrat" (great name for such) and look forward to my future with CCSD.
uh oh
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April 11, 2014
I respect John Adams also, but I think he is wrong on this one. I am really amazed that the best candidate the board can find for the job is a man that is first described as a "sleaze ball" by most of those that have had dealings with him. But hey, maybe he really is the best choice available. This is sad.

Just curious. Has anyone else noticed the way that the females (past and present)on the board gush and use baby talk when talking to him. He must be much more more charming in person.
South Cobb Parent
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April 09, 2014
Chris is a great choice! I am sure he will find one of the many qualified education folks to be over Leadership and Learning. He has a good business sense, strong with technology, understands the budget, down to earth and really cares. I think the board did a good job in selecting him.
Questions galore
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April 09, 2014
He is not strong with technology and has done a very poor job managing the technology budget for CCSD. My schools computer upgrades have been delayed so many times I have lost count. We have computers that take 20 minutes to boot up.

He better surround himself with smart education people because he doesn't have any experience in teaching children or leading teachers. As a matter of fact he does not have the qualifications to be an Assistant Administrator let alone the superintendent of such a large school district.
anonymous
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April 10, 2014
I guess no one has really looked closely at the technology purchases during Mr Ragsdale's tenure. Look at what was purchased then soon replaced and the vendors that have gotten much of the work. Then look at a picture of Marlon Brando in the "Godfather" and the picture in the paper.

Can't do anything about the choice, so let's live it for now
Cobb Educator
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April 09, 2014
We are so HAPPY to have someone who actually cares about children and people back in charge. Chris is a fine example of what a leader should be and perhaps those micro managers at Glover Street will start to disappear or even go back and actually see a classroom again. Someone please send Amy Krause and the Curriculum Department directions to the nearest funeral home because they are going to be in mourning and then buried by all of the kindness and professionalism coming from the top. Send Hiny Hinojosa packing as soon as possible.

Amen to That
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April 09, 2014
Thank goodness that some of the board members looked at a candidate that cares about the education of our kids. Chris is the most respectable person at the central office. I believe he will be a great leader and provide transparency to all.

I hope that Sweeney does not have the opportunity to work with him!

Congrats Mr. Ragsdale. You will do well and our children will do well under your guidance.
Larry Savage
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April 09, 2014
This is for the top job in an enterprise that spends about a billion dollars a year. There are many, many, some say too many, career educators at Glover Street. Chris has demonstrated executive ability to be a successful Superintendent in this modern world and he has the demeanor to herd all the variety of competing interests.

Good choice.
@Larry
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April 09, 2014
As a parent, I have no problem with a career educator, let me see if I get this right, running a SCHOOL system in which education should be the number one priority. This man doesn't even have a Master's degree. There are paraprofessionals at my child's school more educated than he is. He may know technology, but this is not Dell or IBM, this is a school district.
Bill Clements
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April 09, 2014
A fine choice - Chris is an honorable man and will do nothing to hurt Cobb Schools - check the background of Wilbanks and Wilson and you will see some similarities.

Might be a good choice for permanent ?

Hurray!
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April 09, 2014
This is one person who truly cares and stayed at CCSB when the ice hit and was the one person who made sure everyone was safe at wherever they could be. Sometimes Educrats are not the best person! They end up be egocentric buffoons with no common sense. I would rather have someone who truly cares and shows it!
Ragsdale Fan
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April 09, 2014
I have had the pleasure of talking to and working with Chris Ragsdale on a situation concerning one of my children. While the rest of CCSD was attempting to obstruct and undermine any viable solution, Mr. Ragsdale treated me with dignity and respect. I am totally behind this decision and will hope that the CCSD board will make it permanent. Now if Hinojosa would just go ahead and leave... and take Sweeney with him.
Prof.(Emeritus) Plum
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April 09, 2014
as Artie Johnson would say; very interesting......
Disappointed Parent
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April 09, 2014
Not exactly a stellar educational background Kennesaw State degree in the 90's and Shorter College MBA. I hear they give these degrees away for just attending classes back in the 90's !!!
anonymous
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April 09, 2014
Sounds like he has a very down to earth pedigree to me. Combined with his REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE in administration, he could be a winner. Unless, the jackass gene that seems to be harbored in the educational admin ranks has infected him.
?notnice
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April 09, 2014
Glad to hear from the high and mighty.

Not everyone has the means to go away to school. KSU and Shorter are respectable schools.

To Disappointed:
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April 09, 2014
Your elitism represents everything wrong with the education system. Give me the first name that appears in the telephone directory before some Harvard University educrat.
I16
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April 10, 2014
Good choice, lot better than an UGA LOTTERY PUP.
Whitewash it
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April 11, 2014
Kennesaw State is a decent school, but he is strictly a computer guy. He does not yet have any degree from Shorter. He has just recently enrolled, which makes it sound a little better to those who do not appreciate the standard set for such a position. He has less education than the majority of his employees including cafeteria and janitorial staff. There are plenty of fantastic applicants, why do we have to settle for someone who does not meet the standard?
not surprised
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April 09, 2014
Wow!!! Only finalist - Cobb taking a page out of Atlanta City Schools - and we know how they have ended up. The reason education is so messed up is because the people in charge have not ever been in the classsroom or if they have it has been so long ago they don't know what it is like currently. Hoping for change and again it is the same old, same old. Einstein said that you cannot solve the problem by using the same thinking that got you there and chaos is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome...

Good luck to Cobb county teachers cause it doesn't look like things will be getting any better.
anonymous
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April 09, 2014
If he surrounds himself with teh right people, does it matter?
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