Linden BOE hires Baldwin

LINDEN — George Baldwin is interim no more after the Linden City Schools Board of Education hired him as its new superintendent Monday evening.

Following the unanimous vote to make the hire, board chair William Curry thanked Baldwin, who has been interim superintendent since June 12 when the former director of the now-defunct Marengo County Technology Center stepped in to fill the void left in the wake of the sudden departure of former superintendent Dr. Tyrone Smith.

“We give thanks to you for the job that you did as an interim,” Curry told Baldwin in front of the small crowd gathered for the meeting.

Baldwin, who is in his 29th year within the Linden school system, nearly had his tenure abbreviated in May when the decision was made to dissolve the consortium that made up the Marengo County Technology Center.

Curry later noted in an interview that having Baldwin available to fill the school system’s top position after Smith’s relationship with the board reached a sudden end proved to be a blessing in disguise.

“We felt very fortunate in the fact that in the way things happened, we actually had to let (Baldwin) go. And that was a way of not letting him go and filling a role that we needed at the same time,” Curry said.

“When MCTC closed, it was a sad occasion for me because of the boys and girls that it hurt. It was very emotional and I guess I’m emotional now, but it’s on a different end of the scale,” Baldwin said following the meeting. “I believe (serving as interim superintendent) has given me the opportunity to look inside before I actually stepped into the building and got a chance to get my feet wet and I know firsthand what is expected of me as superintendent by being the interim for six months.”

Before the meeting adjourned, Baldwin took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the board.

“Thank you all for believing in me and letting me serve as interim to get me a little experience under my belt and I just appreciate you,” Baldwin said. “My door will always be open. You can call me any time and I will be willing and able to serve.”