Outgoing superintendent attends last Horry County School Board meeting

Outgoing superintendent attends last Horry County School Board meeting

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Dr. Cindy Elsberry took her seat for the final time at Horry County School Board meeting.Though she may be leaving the Horry County school district, Dr. Cindy Elsberry made it quite clear tonight her career in education is far from over.

After the meeting, Elsberry confronted some unanswered questions, including those about her severance package.

"I didn't want any money. You know, I wanted to continue to be the superintendent but there was a parting of ways which is a natural occurrence," Dr Elsberry said.

Dr. Elsberry says only four of the board members who hired her remain on the board. "New leadership is just something that happens in organizations," Elsberry explained.

Elsberry still defines the split as mutual, but admits, it wasn't easy.

"I was under contract until 2017 and so my family had an expectation that I would be employed as the superintendent until 2017," Elsberry said.

When asked about what many are calling her "pay off," the estimated $430,000 she will be given as part of her severance package, Elsberry was nearly speechless.

"I don't know that there's any right amount and like I said, I certainly wasn't after any money. That was not my goal," Elsberry said.

Horry County School Board Chairman, Joe DeFeo, grew defensive about the word "pay off."  He would not go into much detail, but claimed that's not what the six-figure package is.

"Personal issues are normally kept secret. they're not 'FOIA-able' information, and I understand where the public feels on it, but that's just the situation that we're in and it's not something I can comment on," DeFeo said.

DeFeo suggested Elsberry would have more to say, and she did.

"It's if you take my salary now and you add in benefits, it's more than the base salary, and that's what happened it's not, you know, they're not paying me for two years of work," Elsberry said.

Taking over for Elsberry is Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey. The board voted Monday that he's to get an additional $3,200 and a $850 dollar payment each month on top of his salary because he will continue to work both positions until further notice.

"You know I don't know the figures of superintendents but that would probably make him the lowest-paid superintendent, but he's going to be working far more hours," DeFeo said.

As for Dr. Elsberry, she admitted she will not have much down time and plans to further her career in education.

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