For the past six years, Dr. Fred Primm has led the Sumter County School District. But earlier this month, he accepted a job to head up the Bessemer (Ala.) School System. Following a long hard battle to consolidate Sumter County's two high schools, Primm says there are several reasons why he chose to leave now.
"It's bittersweet," he said. II think at a certain point sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes to take the system to the next level."
After one failed attempt in 2006 to pass a tax referendum to consolidate Sumter County's two high schools, the school board approved an alternate plan to finance the effort three years later.
Primm says with the consolidation complete this fall, it's a good time to bring in new leadership.
"Because we've gotten the school complete, we're getting ready to have our financial intervention lifted hopefully July 12, if all goes well with the state department," said Primm. "It's not a matter of abandonment, because everything that needed to be done has been done."
Offering words of thanks to school employees, parents, students and the community at large for support during his administration, Dr. Primm says the basis of his decision was primarily personal.
"Right now, my hometown is on on the other side of the state. So, this puts me closer to my hometown in terms of spending time with family and things of that nature," Primm said. "It (the school district) was surviving before I got here. It certainly will survive when I leave, and hopefully, in the middle of those two things, I made a contribution to this county."
Dr. Primm's last day on the job is next June 30.