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White County school superintendent finalist has been named
Wilson was 1 of 32 people who applied for the position
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A finalist for the White County school superintendent has been announced, barely a month after the position was posted.

Jeffrey Wilson, the assistant superintendent for instruction with Anderson School District Five in Anderson, S.C., was selected Thursday night to replace Paul Shaw.

Wilson was one of 32 applicants for the position, according to a news release.

"I was very excited. Dr. Paul Shaw has done a good job of putting (the school system) in great shape," Wilson said.

Wilson said he's been considering the option of becoming a superintendent for about a year now and thinks White County will be a good fit.

Shaw said no contracts had been signed yet, so legally Wilson is a finalist for the position right now, not the new superintendent. There is a 14-day waiting period between the announcement and the contract development before anything is official.

Wilson has three degrees from Clemson University.

"He has a track record of leading the instructional program of Anderson Five to high levels of student achievement," the news release stated. "Wilson has been instrumental in bringing numerous grant awards to his school system in areas of history instruction, dropout prevention and technology."

The news release said the White County School Board found Wilson to be familiar with programs in the district's schools.

"The Board felt that Dr. Wilson was the best match to the characteristics and qualifications expressed by school system employees and community members," the release continued.

Shaw announced his resignation in July with a video sent to school system employees. His resignation becomes effective Sept. 2.

Wilson is expected to take the position in late August.

"As soon as I announced my resignation (the search committee) announced it appropriately," Shaw said. "I was pleased that they were able to work within a time frame. They didn't rush it but they didn't dilly-dally around."

Shaw is leaving White County to teach at Piedmont College in Demorest and work with undergraduate education majors.

He came to White County from South Carolina's York School District 11 years ago. The Georgia School Superintendents Association named Shaw superintendent of the year in 2010 and he serves on Gov. Nathan Deal's Education Advisory Board.

Graduation rates in the district rose by 94 percent under Shaw's leadership and the school system created partnerships with the White County Board of Commissioners and Recreation Departments for joint facility use.

He hasn't spoken to Wilson yet, but said he hopes Wilson will take the school district far.

"My goal is to have the very best education possible for each student," Wilson said. "If we're doing things to get recognized at the state and national level, it means our kids are achieving."

Wilson said he believes in well-rounded students and loves the idea of working in a community that thrives around its schools.

"I felt like the county was a good match. It's not a school system that's in trouble," he said. "I want folks to know who White County is."