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May 9--  Vidalia's veteran school superintendent is retiring.  Dr. Tim Smith (photo left) made the announcement at Tuesday night's meeting of the Vidalia school board.

{mosimage}"As of June 30th, I will be fully retired.  I have spent 42 years in this business and have spent almost 30 of those years in Vidalia.  I was serious earlier when I said that when you get here, you just don't want to leave.  I set goals a few years ago that I wanted to completely renovate this school system and build a J.R. Trippe Field House and those will be completed shortly.  It's a good time for me to tell everybody thank you for your support, thank you for your guidance and thank you for the things that you have done and will continue to do for the people and the students here in the Vidalia City School System.  I appreciate it," he said.

Board of Education Chairman Hal Chesser (photo, right) says it's going to be tough to replace Dr. Smith.

"He's been very important to the school system.  He's run it very efficiently and during these tough economic times he's been a great leader.  He'll be truly missed," he said.

The school board held an executive session and afterwards voted to accept applications for the superintendent's job from within the school system.

"We chose to offer the superintendent's job to all qualified people in our school system.  We felt like it would be better to hire from within the inside for budget reasons and for continuity to keep our system running like it's running," Chesser said.


(L-R) Mr. Gardner, SDM Principal Ginger Morris, Mrs. Collins and JDD Principal Carol Welch.

Other teachers and staff members who are retiring this year were honored Tuesday night including special education teacher Jennifer Collins from J.D. Dickerson Primary School, Assistant Principal Henry Gardner from Sally Meadows Elementary, Bill James, Jr. and Wanda Daniels from J.R. Trippe Middle School, and Charlotte Bowen and Gail Gibson from Vidalia High School.