EASLEY - In a called meeting, the Pickens County school board voted unanimously Thursday to accept a request by superintendent Lee D'Andrea to be released from her contract effective June 30, 2009.
The vote came following an executive session.
D'Andrea did not speak to the media but provided a written statement after the announcement.
Later that afternoon, Anderson District 4 officials announced she has accepted a similar position there starting July 1, 2008, with an annual salary of $130,000.
According to a press release issued by that district, the 19-year educator did not seek the job there but was approached by the district's board members to see if she was interested.
She left Anderson District 4 in 2006 to take the superintendent position in Pickens County.
"Serving as the superintendent in the School District of Pickens County has been a fantastic opportunity," she said. "We have accomplished so much in the last two and a half years. Obviously, the facilities improvement program is monumental and historical in its entirety."
D'Andrea said safety and security issues were the predominate factors in her decisions to move forward quickly during her first year on board.
"We have also done an outstanding job of evaluating where we were and where we want to go," she said. "In planning four new high schools, we have researched and designed curriculum on a scale unavailable to most districts."
The superintendent said it would be difficult to leave before the ribbon cuttings for the new schools, "but the people working on the implementation of our extensive planning are capable, dedicated professionals," she said.
"The schools are truly schools of the future, not simply replicas of our present schools," she added. "The taxpayers and the students of Pickens County are the benefactors."
Alex Saitta, who represents the Pickens area on the school board, said he preferred that D'Andrea's contract end at the end of 2008 but felt he was in the minority opinion.
"Whenever a person is leaving for another opportunity, they're naturally going to loose focus on the current job," he said. "I think eight months is too long."
In September, the board had extended D'Andrea's contract in a 5-3 vote to 2011.
Pickens County board trustees June Hay, Shirley Jones and Kevin Kay were not present for the vote to release her from it.