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School superintendents start new jobs

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Today was the first day on the job for a couple of school superintendents. Brunswick County's Edward Pruden officially worked his first day. Dr. Pruden got the job in April to replace former superintendent Katie McGee.

Pruden says his first day was about getting to know his co-workers and tackling the challenges that come along with running a school system. One big challenge is the school district's $5 million budget shortfall.

"The entire country is in a challenging budgeting time, and we're trying to be careful with every nickel in the plan so that the instructional program goes seamlessly and effectively, even though we are being very careful with our resources," Pruden said.

Pruden comes to Brunswick County with almost 40 years of experience as an educator in Virginia. He says in the coming weeks, he plans to visit every school in the district.

New Hanover County's interim superintendent also started work today. Dr. Edwin West says even though classes aren't in session, summer is the busiest time of year. West said that's because of all work involved in preparing for the upcoming school year.

West is president of the Masonboro Group, an education consulting firm. He has also served as superintendent for four other school systems.

"The main thing is to keep the focus on the goals, to make sure the test scores keep improving the buildings keep getting cleaned, because what we want is conscience, competent learners who are also concerned, self-disciplined citizens and we want to keep the focus on making sure they get a quality education in a safe learning environment," West said.

West's term will last three months. He says he is not a candidate for the permanent position.

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