Using a Ragsdale family Bible, the former deputy superintendent of operations swore a loyalty oath and official oath of county school superintendent before signing the documents. Georgia Supreme Court Justice P. Harris Hines officiated the ceremony in the superintendent’s office.
In attendance were School Board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci, Vice Chair Randy Scamihorn, Cobb schools communications director Jay Dillon and school board attorney Clem Doyle, who is also Hines’ son-in-law, among others.
“I do further solemnly swear that I am not the holder of any unaccounted for public money due this state or any political subdivision or authority thereof,” Ragsdale said in making his oath. “I do further solemnly swear that I am not the holder of any office of trust under the government of the United States, any other state or any foreign state which I am prohibited from holding by the laws of the state of Georgia.”
In his loyalty oath, Ragsdale stated officially that he’s a citizen of the United States and he will support the U.S. Constitution and the Georgia Constitution.
Though Ragsdale is not a public official, Dillon said Ragsdale was sworn in because he is in control of public money in his official capacity as interim superintendent.
Ragsdale, 45, was selected from among seven candidates to fill the role after Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced in February he was resigning effective May 31 to move back home to Dallas, Texas.
Hinojosa and Ragsdale will work together during the month of May as the superintendent job transitions between the two. Ragsdale’s term will run from May 2014 to May 2015. The ceremony took place on his first official day as superintendent.
Whether he will stay on beyond that point remains to be seen. When asked, he said simply, “Time will tell.”
Ragsdale was named the sole finalist for the job at an April 10 press conference. The board had to wait 14 days to make it official because of state law.
With the promotion, Ragsdale’s pay will jump from $135,000 to $185,000. Hinojosa’s base pay was $247,625.
Scamihorn said he’s looking forward to working with Ragsdale now that he is officially the superintendent.
“We’re looking forward to working with the new superintendent and we look forward to reviewing our strategic plan and our goals in trying to move forward to better educate our kids,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
While he was officially sworn in during the small ceremony Thursday, a public ceremony also featuring Hines will take place during the next school board meeting at 6 p.m. May 29.