Bibb school system gets new superintendent

A whirlwind of a week for the Bibb County Board of Education has resulted in Superintendent Romain Dallemand’s resignation and the subsequent appointment of Susanne Griffin-Ziebart as his temporary replacement. The events of the Board of Education continued to unfold on the front cover of the Telegraph and other news outlets for several days in a row last week.
According to the Telegraph, Susanne Griffin-Ziebart said she is going to focus on maintaining the stability of the school district by planning next year’s budget.
She will hold the temporary position for a month or until board members choose an interim superintendent.
Last week, school board members voted to buy out the remainder of Romain Dallemand’s contract for $350,000. Dallemand served as superintendent of Bibb County schools for two years.
Griffin-Ziebart has been the district’s deputy superintendent of school improvement and redesign since 2011.
“I am excited to serve the district and the kids and to help through this transition until the board is ready to name an interim superintendent,” she said at a news conference Friday.
Griffin-Ziebart previously worked at Rochester Public Schools for 23 years, most recently as the Executive Director of School Improvement and Accountability. She held a variety of positions while at Rochester including: pathologist of speech and language, principal of several schools and interim director of special education.
According to the Telegraph, interim school board president Sue Sipe said she is “very confident” Griffin-Ziebart will be able to handle the responsibility of overseeing the district for the immediate future.
The board members are going to meet plan to meet this week to discuss the next steps in choosing an interim superintendent, Sipe said.
According to the Telegraph, Griffin-Ziebart did not say whether she wants to be considered for the interim superintendent job, citing her desire to focus on her role as acting superintendent.
Griffin-Ziebart said she has enjoyed her role as deputy superintendent and having the chance to interact with principals and develop leaders within the district.
“I am perfectly comfortable in the acting superintendent’s role,” she said.
The school system’s four deputy superintendents, including Griffin-Ziebart, briefly were in charge of the school system for four days between Dallemand’s buyout and Griffin-Ziebart’s acceptance to be acting superintendent.
Griffin-Ziebart was hired to work in Bibb County in June 2011, only a few months after Dallemand became superintendent.
Griffin-Ziebart received her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from the
University of Wisconsin River Falls, a master’s degree in speech and language pathology from the University of Wisconsin Madison and an education specialist equivalent in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, according to Bibb County Schools’ Web site.
Despite Dallemand’s abrupt exit, Griffin-Ziebart credited him with the establishment of programs that, on paper, will increase student achievement.
“I would be prepared to stay if this district felt that I was a good match for what they wanted to move forward, but I’d also have to be prepared to move on as well,” she said.