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Search for new BOE director officially underway

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The official search for a new Wilson County Director of Schools began Monday, and if all goes well, will end with a contract in place by May 23.

According to the document distributed by Board of Education Chair Don Weathers at Friday’s March meeting, resumes will be accepted until March 28 and should be submitted to the office of Interim Director Mary Ann Sparks.

A press release from Sparks’ office Tuesday morning stated, “Interested candidates should email a current resume to: resumes@wcschools.com. Resumes received by the deadline will be reviewed by all board members.

“More information, including the minimum requirements for the position, may be found on the employment page of the Wilson County Schools’ website, www.wcschools.com,” the release continued. (See requirements at the end of this article.)

After March 28, Sparks will provide copies of all resumes to each board member “for review and consideration,” until the BOE’s April meeting.

At the April 7 board meeting, the board is to submit the names of their top eight candidates for consideration to Weathers, who “will create a tally sheet of the candidates submitted by the individual board members to determine the number of votes the eight submissions received.

“Those candidates that receive three or more votes will be included in the open meeting interviews to be held at the board office on April 12.”

At Friday’s BOE meeting, the original date for the open meeting interviews was slated for April 19. However, after The Wilson Post pointed out to Weathers following Friday’s meeting that the date was the Saturday before Easter, Weathers said that date would have to be changed.

The document outlining the process that was emailed to The Post by BOE Secretary Rose Ratagick on Monday reflected the change from April 19 to April 12.

The open meeting interviews will begin at 8 a.m. at the BOE office and continue until they are concluded.

“At the end of each interview, each board member will be required to submit an evaluation of each candidate to be used in determining the most suitable candidate to assume the duties of director of schools,” the document reads.

The top two candidates will have their references checked, concede to a background and drug test and submit to a second interview to be held on Saturday, May 3.

The board will then score each interview of the final two candidates, and one will emerge as the number one candidate.

According to Weather’s outline, the board will then enter into contract negotiations with the final candidate with the intent of having the contract completed by May 15. If a contract cannot be agreed upon by that date, then “negotiations with that candidate will cease and the board will begin negotiations with the second finalist with the intent to have that contract finalized by May 23,” and the new director announced at the June 2 board meeting.

Only two questions were asked about Weathers’ plan by board members. Zone 5’s Larry Tomlinson asked BOE attorney Mike Jennings if there was any way to keep the names of those who submit resumes confidential.

He said he wasn’t trying to be secretive, but felt that some candidates may not want their current employers to know they are applying. Jennings told him under current state Sunshine Laws, the answer is no.

Zone 2’s Bill Robinson asked if Sparks, as interim director, could apply. He said he wasn’t starting a “recruiting campaign” for her, but wanted to know if she could apply for the permanent position.

Weathers said she could, if the board voted to change the rules before the application process began. The board voted unanimously to change the rules and allow Sparks to apply if she wishes.

Correspondent Amelia Morrison Hipps may be contacted at amhipps@downhomepolitics.com.

Qualifications and Duties of the Director of Schools

QUALIFICATIONS

1. A professional educator’s license.

2. A master’s degree in education with preference for a doctorate degree.

3. Three years of successful experience in school administration.

4. Such other qualifications as the Board deems desirable.

REPORTS TO

The Board of Education

SUPERVISES

All administrative and supervisory personnel in the district.

JOB GOAL

To provide leadership in developing and maintaining the best possible educational programs and services.

SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY

The management responsibilities of the Director of Schools shall extend to all activities of the district, to all phases of the educational program, to all aspects of the financial operation, to all parts of the physical plant, and to the conduct of such other duties as may be assigned by the Board. The Director of Schools may delegate these duties together with appropriate authority, but may not delegate nor relinquish ultimate responsibility for results or any portion of accountability.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE

1. Provides leadership in identification of priorities and assures that all activities reflect those Board established priorities.

2. Prepares and recommends short and long range plans for Board approval and implements those plans when approved.

3. Prepares, in conjunction with the Board Chairman, agenda recommendations relative to all matters requiring Board action, including all facts, information, options and reports needed to assure informed decisions. Provides advice and counsel to the Board on matters before it.

4. Attends all regular and special meetings of the Board and keeps a complete and accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Board and of its official acts.

5. Recommends drafts of new policies or changes to the Board. Anticipates potential problems. Recommends policies or courses of staff action.

6. Develops administrative procedures to implement Board policy and disseminates these procedures to appropriate staff.

7. Keeps the Board informed regarding development in other districts or at state and national levels that would be helpful to the district.

8. Ensures that all local, state and federal standards for the health and safety of the students and staff are maintained and that required reports are maintained.

9. Fulfills all statutory obligations and implements the education law of the State of Tennessee and the rules and regulations of the State Board.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

1. Provides direction to and supervision of school business functions. Encourages development and implementation of sound business practices. Continually assesses business practices to achieve efficiency.

2. Prepares annually a budget and submits it to the Board for approval. Presents approved budget to the appropriate local funding body for adoption.

3. Makes appropriate written reports for the Board detailing all receipts and expenditures of the public school funds and submits them to the local funding body.

4. Ensures that funds are spent prudently by providing adequate control and accounting of the district’s financial and physical resources.

PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION

1. Employs such personnel as may be necessary within the limits of budgetary provisions and recommends to the Board teachers who are eligible for tenure.

2. Develops recruitment procedures to assure well qualified applicants for professional and nonprofessional positions.

3. Assigns and transfers employees as the interest of the district may dictate and reports such action to the Board for information and record.

4. Holds meetings of teachers and other employees as necessary for the discussion of matters concerning the welfare and improvement of the schools.

5. Communicates directly or through delegation all actions of the Board relating to personnel matters to all and receives from employees communications to be made to the Board.

INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP

1. Administers, as chief school executive, the development and maintenance of a positive educational program designed to meet the needs of the community and to carry out the policies of the Board. Ensures that a system of thorough and efficient education, as defined by state law, is available to all students.

2. Recommends to the Board for its adoption all courses of study, curriculum guides and major changes in tests and time schedules to be used in the schools.

3. Oversees the timely revisions of all curriculum guides and courses of study.

4. Develops guidelines and direction for monitoring the effectiveness of existing and new programs.

5. Conducts a periodic audit of the total school program and advises the Board of recommendations for the educational advancement of the schools.

6. Seeks out available sources for grant funding to support programs and projects.

7. Ensures that the goals of the school system are adequately reflected in its educational program and operations.

COMMUNITY/PUBLIC RELATIONS

1. Promotes community support of the schools. Interprets district programs and services, reports plans, events and activities of interest and solicits community opinions regarding school and educational issues.

2. Identifies available community resources and links to social service agencies that support education and healthy child development.

3. Develops strategies to promote parental involvement in their children’s education and provides opportunities for parent teacher interaction.

4. Maintains contact and good relations with local media. Acts as the Board’s spokesperson.

5. Ensures that the district interests will be represented in meetings and activities of municipal and other governmental agencies.

6. Represents the school system and its interest in community organizations, activities and projects.

 TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT

Twelve (12) months a year. Serves in accordance with the terms of the contract between the Board and the Director of Schools. Salary to be determined by the Board.

 EVALUATION

Performance of this job will be evaluated in accordance with provisions of state law and the Board’s policy on evaluation of the Director of Schools.

 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the person assigned to this position. They are not intended to be a complete list of responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so assigned.

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