NEWLAND — During a short meeting attended by the man himself, the Avery County Board of Education appointed Dan Brigman as the new Superintendent of Avery County Schools.
Brigman, a North Carolina native from Madison County who already has a long career of superintendent work under his belt, is coming to Avery from Laurens County, Ga., where he served as the Superintendent of Laurens County Schools.
The vote was not unanimous, however. BOE member Steve Smith did not vote in favor of the appointment.“I have to vote with my heart,” Smith said, adding he had a different feeling but he fully supports the appointment.
BOE member Kathey Aldridge had to join the meeting by phone.
In a written statement read at the meeting, Greene said after interviewing a pool of internal and external candidates, the board came to a consensus about the appointment.
Brigman received his Ph.D in organizational leadership and professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. Brigman is moving to the area with his family and will be enrolling his children in the district.
Brigman’s appointment is set to begin Jan. 1, 2020.
Brigman will be taking over for Ken Townsend, the district’s Human Resources Director, who was temporarily appointed as Superintendent to replace Bill Miller, another interim superintendent who took over for Bryan Taylor, who resigned in June.
Brigman said his desire was to come home and finish his career in North Carolina, adding he wants to stay in the area and raise his kids here.
“A lot of people try to get here after retirement,” Brigman said. “I’m wanting to do that while I’m able to still work and serve.”
Brigman wants to begin his time with ACS by building relationships with the communities and faculty at the schools, as well as look at the district’s services and ways to refine what the schools do in the pursuit of excellence.
Brigman said he has experience overseeing school capital projects, both building and renovating facilities. The $20 million Avery County High School project is under construction to make major changes to the school.
“He’s got 16 years of experience as a superintendent in large systems and medium systems too,” Greene said about Brigman. “His knowledge base is so vast.”
Greene said the board did its due diligence and Brigman was the choice between two finalists.
“We really got down to the brass tacks on it to find out why he wanted to be here,” Greene said. “He’s just a good fit.”