Questions and answers from the May 5 "Meet the Finalist" virtual forum

Thank you for participating in today’s “Meet the Finalist” virtual forum – hosted by the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce – and for providing your insightful comments, questions and concerns.

While we were not able to answer the livestream questions posed during the forum, Dr. Scott Spence has agreed to answer each of those questions, which can be found below.

We encourage you to share your input on our 2020 Superintendent Finalist Feedback survey, as your feedback is instrumental in this important process.


Q:  What about the milestones this year?

A:  It is my understanding that there are no Milestones end-of-course (EOC) or end-of-grade (EOG) tests for this year.  It is also my understanding that the tests for next year may be reduced or possibly eliminated. 


Q:  Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, our teachers are faced with so many things and teaching sometimes comes in last. How will you help our teachers meet the demands of the issues such has discipline, safety and teaching?

A:  I will be visible in all of our schools and classrooms.  Teachers and school staff will know me and see that I support them.  I will provide leadership to school principals and will keep the lines of communication open. 


Q:  What about schools with portable classrooms? Some of our schools are outgrowing their buildings!

A:  Our latest E-SPLOST will address many of those issues. I will do everything that I can possibly do to eliminate the use of portable classrooms.


Q:  Dr. Spence, demographically speaking, how do you feel about school staff proportionately being similar to the student population?

A:  I think that is certainly a goal for any organization.  However, that is not always something that can be accomplished.  You have to take into account who has applied and the qualifications that those applicants possess. 


Q:  What are your views on testing, Milestones specifically?

A:  Milestone test results allow us to see if our students are learning what we are teaching.  They also give us the ability to compare ourselves to other schools and school systems in the state to see how we are progressing. 


Q:  I read in your application that you retired in 2017. What prompted you to return to such a challenging position?

A:  I retired in January 2018.  At the time, I was the principal of Brunswick High School.  I had been a high school principal for nearly 10 years and in my opinion, had done just about everything that I could do to improve our high schools.  I decided it was time for someone else to take the helm.  After being officially retired for a few months, I was asked to come back as the part-time mathematics coordinator for the system.  This position started my competitive engine again and I saw where we could improve our system as a whole.  I decided to apply for the position of Superintendent. 


Q:  How will you address the disproportionality of school discipline?

A:  The first thing I will do is make sure that we document everything.  In terms of disproportionality, we have to be aware of the fact that not all children come from the same backgrounds and not all consequences are equal for each child.  Equality is not doing the same thing for each offense; equality is doing what is right for each offense.


Q:  Will you be addressing the concerns of hiring individuals who don't meet the minimum criteria for administrative positions?

A:  I am not sure how to answer this question.  I will be more than happy to speak with the person who posed it in order to get a better understanding of the circumstances. 


Q:  Will you stop the promotion of friends and family over qualified minorities?

A:  Over the nearly 20 years as an administrator in the Glynn County School System, my hiring practices were focused on putting the right people in the right positions. It is a practice that I will continue to implement in this new position. To simply make promises should not suffice.