Moody resigns as Rock Hill schools superintendent

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comAugust 26, 2013 

Rock Hill schools Superintendent Lynn Moody reacts after addressing the board Monday night about her decision to resign.

Rock Hill schools Superintendent Lynn Moody resigned Monday to become superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina.

Moody sent an e-mail announcing her departure to all teachers and administrators. She told the school board in a closed meeting Monday afternoon.

Her decision was made public about 30 minutes into a subsequent open meeting, during which the board voted to release her from her contract.

Board members lauded Moody’s accomplishments during her seven years as superintendent and said she would be missed.

“You’re a dreamer,” said board member Ann Reid. “You believe in going the extra mile, and you also can see and plan for the future – and the iRock initiative shows that.”

Starting this year, that two-year, $9 million initiative will provide an iPad to every fourth- through eighth-grade student to use in the classroom and at home.

Chairman Jim Vining and board member Walter Brown called Moody a good friend, a good administrator and a good leader of the district.

Vining, his voice cracking, said Rock Hill will always be indebted to Moody.

“A lot of superintendents don’t have to get up and work hard to push a district somewhere with new technology,” he said. “In fact, most of them don’t.”

Just last month, the school board renewed Moody’s contract after a glowing performance review. She declined a 1 percent raise – the same percentage increase Rock Hill teachers would receive.

Moody’s total compensation for the 2012-2013 school year was $193,450. What she will be paid by Rowan-Salisbury schools was not known Monday night.

Wiping away tears, Moody told the board her new position would be another step on her professional journey. The move also would put her closer to her mother and mother-in-law, who live in North Carolina.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System, about halfway between Charlotte and Greensboro, has about 20,000 students at 35 schools across Rowan County. Rock Hill has about 17,400 students at 27 schools.

Moody reviewed the district’s accomplishments during her time as superintendent and praised leadership at the district and school level. Finding a new superintendent wouldn’t be difficult, she said, because good candidates would be attracted to the district.

“It is an understatement to say that my tenure here will be a very special part of my career,” Moody said.

During a break in the meeting, Moody hugged administrators and teachers, saying she has learned “everything” here.

Leaving was a difficult decision, she said, and should would miss “the people” most of all.

“It’s always about the people,” she said

Moody came to Rock Hill in March 2003 as an associate superintendent for planning and programming. She became the district’s first female superintendent in August 2006.

“The Rock Hill School District has an excellent leadership team, outstanding teachers, and great resources,” Moody wrote in her email to district employees. “I have learned so much from each of you.”

Moody’s Rock Hill contract will expire Sept. 30, and she plans to start her new job the next day. She is succeeding Judy Grissom, who announced her retirement in March.

Vining said he hopes the board can choose an interim superintendent before Moody’s departure. He said it probably will take several months to find a permanent replacement, and that the board likely will hire a search firm.

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