The Wilson County Board of Education will vote on a one-year contract extension for Director Donna Wright after she weighed resignation in 2020.
During the board’s director evaluation process earlier this year, Wright informed board director Larry Tomlinson that should not seek an extension, at that time, beyond the end of her current contract, which expires in June 2020, in order to ponder the possibility of resignation.
Tomlinson said he asked Wright if she had made a decision about a month ago while he visited her office to sign some paperwork.
“She said she was enjoying what she was doing and wanted to see a few more things accomplished in the next few years,” said Tomlinson, who said Wright said she would ponder one more year.
“I told her if she wasn’t coming back after 2020, then the board needs to start making some preparations because that’s not something you want to get hit with one night - that you’re going to have to start looking for a new director,” he said.
Tomlinson said Wright informed him about two weeks ago that she would ask for a one-year extension, and questioned if he believed the board would be willing to accept.
“I told her that all I could do was put it out there and ask,” he said.
The contract extension would expire June 2021, and would not include any salary raises or changes, at the request of Wright, according to Tomlinson.
Wright was voted 2019 Superintendent of the Year by the Mid-Cumberland Region of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents.
She replaced Tim Setterlund as Wilson County Schools director in 2014 after 30 years in Knox County schools and two years in Williamson County schools. The Wilson County Board of Education extended Wright’s initial three-year contract in 2016.
“2020 is out there, and I don’t see it as an ending time, but you always give the board — any board — the benefit. Six years is a long time. (The board) might want to go a different direction. (The board) might want to pursue some other opportunities, and it will be OK. This has been the best time I’ve had, even with the critics,” Wright said earlier this year.
Wright noted several successes of Wilson County Schools, which are highlighted by increased ACT composite score. The district’s composite score has increased from 19.7 in 2014 to 21.2 in 2018, with 51.2 percent of students eligible for the HOPE Scholarship, up from 43.3 percent.
The district also has 1,264 students in Dual Enrollment courses and 2,876 students in Advance Placement course, a 45 percent increase since 2015.
Last year, the district recognized nine schools that reached Level 5 status by the Tennessee Department of Education related to TN Ready value-added assessment, including all county high schools.