By David Carroll

TRENTON, GA (WRCB)-  The Dade County School Board has selected Shawn Tobin to be Superintendent, succeeding Patty Priest, who is retiring next year. Tobin has been principal of Central High School in the Carrollton, GA for the past year.  Tobin was selected from an original field of 45 applicants.

Board chair Carolyn Bradford said, "He's a good fit, we're excited.  We had a great interview with him, and he'll be a good leader." Bradford added, "He has a tough act to follow.  Patty Priest has been in education for 42 years, and she is the best there is." Board member Clyde Barton, who is retiring after eight years on the Board, said he was pleased with the results of his final meeting.  "I believe we got a good one," he said, referring to Tobin.

Tobin is considered the lone finalist for the position.  State law requires that "at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting at which final action or vote is to be taken on the position" that up to three finalists be named.  Tobin was described as the Board's "clear choice" so members are ready to develop the exact terms of his employment.

On or around February 1, Tobin will join Superintendent Priest in the central office until her retirement becomes official on June 30, 2011.  Tobin is a native of Illinois, and served in the U.S. Army Special Forces from 1982-84.  He earned a Social Studies degree from West Georgia College in 1989, and two Master's degrees from that school in 1992 and 1999.  He taught middle school in Carrollton and Dalton before going into school administration in Carroll County.