Former Richmond County Schools Supt. Enjoying New Job in Texas

Monday, December 12, 2011

He had never planned to leave Augusta after just three years.

Dana Bedden, the new superintendent for the Irving Independent School District in Texas, made stops at several campuses on the first day of the new school year, on Aug. 23, 2010. At Bowie Middle school he spent a few minutes with students in Traci Blevins' math class.

When Dana Bedden came to lead the Richmond County district in 2007, he had ideas for the long haul. But when contract negotiations for a second term did not work out with school board members, the Irving In­dependent School District in Texas wasted no time recruiting him.

A year and a half after leaving Augusta, he said his new home is serving him well, even though he has had to handle issues from budget cuts to immigration debates.

“It’s been baptism by fire,” he said in a phone interview last week.

Bedden started work with Irving in July 2010 on a three-year contract. In March, the school board voted to extend his contract through 2016 and maintained his $244,400 salary, which he called a “vote of confidence” in his work.

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