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Three weeks after the Grady County Board of Education unanimously approved a new, three-year contract with School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard, the document was finally executed by both parties last week.
School board Chairman Derrick Majors blamed his work schedule in the delay in signing the document and delivering it to the superintendent for his signature.
Under the terms of the new contract, which goes into effect July 1, Dr. Gilliard will be paid a salary of $166,016.85. His base pay will be subject to any annual state increase over the length of the contract provided he has received a satisfactory performance evaluation on his most recent evaluation.
The superintendent is also entitled to all regular school holidays as well as 10 days of paid vacation. He also may be reimbursed for any unused vacation at the close of each year.
Under the current contract, which expires June 30, the superintendent was paid a $3,000 annual car allowance and six percent of his base salary was paid into a retirement account, both of those expenditures have been eliminated from the new contract with the value of both expenses being added into Gilliard’s base salary.
The board authorized negotiations with Dr. Gilliard at the board’s February meeting and then at the March meeting on March 9 the board voted 4-0 to authorize the execution of a three-year contract with the superintendent following a closed door session.
Board member Jeff Worsham was absent on March 9, but said he backed the decision of the board.
“Dr. Gilliard has done a good job, in my opinion, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he truly cares for all students of our system. He wants what is best for all of them and our entire school system,” Worsham told The Messenger.
The superintendent also voiced his appreciation of the board’s continued support.
“I appreciate the support of the board, my administrative team, principals, school faculties and staff. They all play vital roles in the continued success of this school system. I am looking forward to working alongside our outstanding team of educators and support personnel to continue our mission of making the Grady County Schools the very best they can be,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Dr. Gilliard became the 15th man in Grady County history to serve as the head of the county’s public school system when he assumed the superintendency on July 1, 2015.
He follows in the footsteps of J.B. Wight, J.S. Weather, J.P. Swann, Walter Eskew, Wh Muggridge, Lloyd Connell, Jack Willis, Cecil C. McDonald, James “Doc” Elliott, Larry Rawlins, Michael Hickerson. Steve Wooten, Dr. Tommy Pharis and Lee M. Bailey.
Dr. Gilliard is a product of the Grady County School System and has been employed by the system since 1993.
Gilliard holds degrees from both Valdosta State and Georgia State universities, and earned his doctorate in education in 2010.
During his career here, he has served as the special education director, principal of Eastside Elementary School, principal of Washington Middle School, interim principal of Cairo High School and assistant school superintendent.
He is the son of Kermit Sr., and Peggy Gilliard of the Spence community.
Dr. Gilliard has served on the boards of the Thomas/Grady Association for Retarded Citizens, the Georgia Pines Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse and as chairman of the Regional Community Center Board of Directors here in Cairo.
He also served on the board of directors of Raintree Village Children’s Home in Valdosta, from 2003 until 2020.
The superintendent is also a former Cairo city councilman, having served from 2008 through 2015.
Gilliard and his wife, Cristie, who serves as the school system’s special education director, are parents of Anna, a rising senior at Florida State University, and Owen, who will graduate from high school this spring.