The Paulding County School District announced it has named Steve Barnette the interim superintendent effective June 1.
Barnette will replace Superintendent Brian Otott, who is retiring at the end of the 2020-21 academic year, effective May 31, after being at the helm for 31 years. Barnette is the district’s chief financial officer, a role he has held since 2013.
“We are thrilled to make Steve Barnette our interim superintendent and know he will do a terrific job and will have the full support of our board, staff and community,” Jeff Fuller, chair of the Paulding Board of Education, said in a news release. “We have worked with Steve for years and have seen his business acumen as well as his comprehensive understanding of district operations. It is great to know that we have such a strong talent pool within the district that can keep operations running at a high level.”
The board unanimously approved Barnette’s promotion at its May 11 meeting, and his tenure as interim superintendent will not last more than one year as the district continues its search for Otott’s permanent replacement.
“I am elated for our district that Mr. Barnette will be transitioning to the role of interim superintendent,” Otott said in the release. “Mr. Barnette has a heart for children and our community. It has been my pleasure to serve alongside Steve and know he will lead our district to the next level.”
Before being hired as the district’s CFO, Barnette served as a senior leader with several industry leading technology companies. He and his family have lived in Paulding for the past 20 years. Barnette’s wife, Tracy, is a career educator and a teacher at Burnt Hickory Elementary School. All five of their children were educated in public schools, and four came through the Paulding district.
“This is a great opportunity and I look forward to serving the students, staff and families of the Paulding County School District in this interim role,” Barnette said in the release. “This is an outstanding school system filled with wonderful people, and I look forward to maintaining that level of excellence until the board is able to hire a permanent superintendent.”