It didn’t take long to find an apparent successor for Camden County schools Superintendent Will Hardin, who announced plans to retire last week.

Board members have named John Tucker, principal at Camden County High School the past 13 years, as the sole candidate to replace Hardin when he retires on Dec. 31.

The board has announced plans to negotiate a contract within the next two weeks for Tucker to become the next superintendent of Camden County schools.

“Board members all affirmed the selection of the next superintendent of Camden County schools to carry forward the accomplishments of the past few years and their plans for the future is one of the most important roles they assume for the children and citizens of Camden County,” according to a statement issued by school board officials.

“After carefully considering all of its options, board members agreed the person best qualified to lead the school system at this point in its history is presently employed by and serving the district,” school officials said.

It’s not surprising board members decided against a national search for a new superintendent and moved quickly to name Tucker as Hardin’s replacement. The board has a long history of hiring a new superintendent from within the school system and only four people have served in the position in the past 53 years. Only nine superintendents have held the job in more than a century.

Hiring from within encourages some of the best administrators and educators to stay in Camden County because they know the district has a reputation for grooming employees for jobs with more and more responsibilities, if that’s a career goal.

Tucker will take over a school district with nine elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school with a ninth-grade center. The school district has more than 9,000 students.

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