The Richmond School Board voted unanimously on Sunday to name Dana Bedden as the system's next superintendent.
The board deliberated for about an hour, choosing the candidate 1st District Representative Glen Sturtevant said had been heavily favored in a public survey. Sturtevant said the unanimous decision was not difficult.
“It gives (Bedden) the support and the backing to come in and start working immediately,” he said.
Bedden most recently served as a superintendent in Irving, Texas. He has also worked in Fairfax County and Washington public schools.
The board faced a state-mandated deadline of Dec. 27 to choose a permanent replacement for departed superintendent Yvonne Brandon. The field had narrowed to two on Friday when candidate Anthony Jackson bowed out of contention. Neither Bedden nor Gwinnett County, Ga.-based candidate Calvin Watts was present at the meeting.
Eighth District Representative Derik Jones was also absent for the proceedings.
The board had planned to finalize its choice in a closed session Sunday and vote during a public meeting on Monday. Fourth District Representative Kristen Larson said the timing and cost of flying in the winner made voting Sunday more appealing.
“I don't see a reason to wait,” Larson said.
Vice Chairman Donald Coleman cautioned the board to expect some to be upset by the decision to vote a day earlier than planned.
“We said one thing and did something else,” Coleman said.