CCSD official leaving Cobb for Virginia
by Lindsay Field
June 06, 2012 01:19 AM | 5280 views | 13 13 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Robert Benson, an area assistant superintendent for the Cobb County School District, is heading back to Virginia at the end of June to serve as the new superintendent of King George County Schools.

“It’s an obvious next step in my career,” Benson said Tuesday. The Virginia school district announced the new hire Monday night.

Benson, who moved to Cobb from Virginia in 2003 to serve as the principal at McEachern High School, began his career in education in Virginia in 1988 at the high school he graduated from, Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, Va.

“It’s an area that I’m familiar with,” he said. “We lived (near) there for the first 10 years of our marriage.”

His wife, Shelley, has been a preschool and kindergarten teacher at McEachern United Methodist Church in Powder Springs for seven years.

Benson said the timing of the move is appropriate because their son, Samuel, is a middle school student at Lovinggood, and it will be a good “transition year” before he gets into high school.

“I have some family up there as well,” Benson said. “I have been privileged to work with so many good colleagues. It’s going to be very difficult. I’m very appreciative of the good memories here.”

Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said he was proud that Benson was hired by the Virginia school district.

“Mr. Benson has many talents that he displayed here in Cobb that will serve him well as a superintendent,” he said. “Many districts around the country know that there is tremendous talent in Cobb County.”

Hinojosa said that the district has not found anyone to replace Benson but that there is a “sense of urgency” due to his reporting date in Virginia.

Benson’s first day in Virginia is July 1. According to a local online newspaper, fredericksburg.com out of Fredericksburg, Va., the school board approved a four-year contract that would run through June 30, 2016, and pay him $134,400 a year, up from the $106,000 a year he is paid in Cobb.

He will also receive a benefits package including a $425 monthly vehicle allowance, $5,000 annually for annuity or deferred compensation, health and life insurance, cell phone services and $10,000 in moving expenses.

The district has around 5,000 students in three elementary schools, one middle and one high school, Benson said.

Benson was promoted in 2007 to the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction under former deputy superintendent Dr. Steve Constantino, who left the district in 2011 after accepting a superintendent job at Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools in Virginia.

He also worked with Constantino in the 1990s at Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Va.

Benson was one of six people named to Hinojosa’s new cabinet after being named an area assistant superintendent for southwest Cobb in the fall, and the only one to not receive a pay increase.
Comments
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west cobb
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June 06, 2012
Raise your right hand if you left Virginia's school district to come to CCSD. Now raise your left hand if you are leaving CCSD to go back to Virgina. Whats up with that??
Good Luck
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June 06, 2012
Departure, I think you make a strong point in that Cobb should only want those who want to be here. However, I'm not sure you realize that working in Cobb at the admin level (or teaching level for that matter) is much more difficult here than in other states that are better off economically. Due to budget cuts, lack of staffing (again due to budget cuts), unrealistic community expectations (given the lack of staffing and budget cuts) and so much leadership transition- it is increasingly a difficult if not impossible position to be an administrator in Cobb and most of Georgia. I suspect all of these factors played into his decision to leave. All the best to Mr. Benson, he's done an excellent job during his tenure here and I for one think he will be a great superintendent.
Departure
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June 06, 2012
I truly wish good fortune to any of those who make the decision to leave CCSD, but this is an excellent school sysytem and why would we want anyone that wants to leave? Shouldn't we only want those that desire to stay and improve schools and the cmomuities with which they oversee? Fleeing is never a solution. It shows weal leadership.
To The Lifeboats
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June 06, 2012
Dear Departure,

Here's a lesson: When a ship is sinking, and CCSD is sinking fast with Dr. Hinawhatever and the seven dwarfs, the only ones left are the ones who could not get off.

Take a picture of that "excellent school system." That's all you are going to have in about two years. Good luck with that.
Mike O. Bedenbaugh
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June 06, 2012
I agree with not replacing Mr. Benson that is why Dr. Hinojosa has a "Sense of Urgency" to replace him so he does not lose one of his Central Office Staff positions. The money saved is a lot more than his $106,000.00 salary if you include: car (or allowance),cell phone, taxes paid, workers comp,insurance, social security, medicare, and pension benefits. It is more likely around $130,000.00. savings. The pensions still have to be paid for the 350 personnel who retired which cuts into the savings claims by Dr. Hinojosa and his staff to the school board and taxpayers The amount saved by hirings teachers to replace Mr. Benson's position would only hire three (3) at most; so do not fill the position and cut $130,000.00 out of the budget and show the teachers, taxpayers,school board, and public you are sincere about saving money in this deficit budget. SCHOOL BOARD DO NOT LET HIM FILL THE POSITION IF YOU MEAN WHAT YOU PREACH.
anonymous
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June 07, 2012
CCSD does not pay pension,, that is a state thing
Oops there goes..
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June 06, 2012
And Cobb loses another quality leader to a different district...

With talent fleeing to Fulton County and other states, no wonder Cobb is struggling mightily to establish a clear direction.
Good Luck, Rob
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June 06, 2012
Good for you!
Bob er' Rob
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June 06, 2012
Well deserved!! You will be missed.
don't replace
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June 06, 2012
Can't the Area Superintendents just have more schools, less days and delayed pay increases. Don't fill the position. There are 350 fewer teachers to supervise.
right on
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June 06, 2012
No need to replace him. Simply increase each of the areas to include a few more schools just like they increased the class sizes with a few more students.

Oh wait! That might make fiscal sense. My bad.
perfect
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June 06, 2012
solution! Wish I'd said that.
Mad Mom
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June 06, 2012
I totally agree. No need to replace with few teachers around. This is one great solution to our fiscal problems. Take heed, CCSD and do the RIGHT thing, please.
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