Decatur County School board names sole finalist for superintendent position
The Decatur County School Board announced at a called meeting on Thursday, May 12 that Tim Cochran has been named the sole finalist for the open superintendent position. Tim Cochran, who is of no relation to board chairman Sydney Cochran, is currently the superintendent in Atkinson County. Naming him as the sole finalist begins the 14-day waiting period mandated by state law before he can be officially hired.
“He’s well respected, has good people skills, seems to be very knowledgeable,” Sydney Cochran said. “We feel very confident that he will fit in well here and be a good fit for our community and a good leader for our school system and we’re excited about him being here.”
Tim Cochran has served as the superintendent in Atkinson County since 2011. Prior to that he served as a principal at the elementary and high school levels in Lanier County.
“I’m a people person,” Tim Cochran said about his leadership approach. “You have high expectations for individuals and then you allow them do their work and you support them in that endeavor. I believe that when you do that and you build a team atmosphere that is when you have success.”
The Board of Education reviewed 28 applications for the position that became open after Dr. Fred Rayfield announced that he had accepted the same position in Union County. They interviewed six candidates before bringing back three for second interviews and choosing to hire Tim Cochran in a unanimous vote.
“He was very enthusiastic and he’s had a lot of good experience,” Sydney Cochran said. “Had a good easy manner about him and the people we checked on his background confirmed that. He’s brought his school from below performing levels to fourteenth out of 180 school districts in the CCRPI. Financially they’re very sound. He’s passed a SPLOST, he has experience with SPLOST.”
Tim Cochran received both his Bachelor and Master degrees from Valdosta State University and he is currently working on an education doctorate through VSU.
In Atkinson, he is actively involved in the local Board of Health, Family Connections Board and Relay for Life.
“I look forward to getting over there and getting to know everybody and getting to work,” Tim Cochran said. “The board members seem like good guys and everything seemed just like it was a good fit.”
Throughout his career Tim Cochran has spent time as both as a math and economics/government/history teacher. Additionally, Tim Cochran currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of the Georgia School Superintendents Association.
No official date has been set for when he will assume his new position of Decatur County superintendent.
“We will work those details out, between working with my board and working with them so that my board is in a good place to transition as well,” Tim Cochran said about when he plans to start.