WCS schools

Updated with each board member's votes.

The Wilson County Schools Board of Education announced its “final six” choices to be interviewed for the director of schools position at its monthly meeting on Monday night.

The six are (in alphabetical order): John Ash, Jerry Boyd, Jeff Luttrell, Travis Mayfield, Robert Sells and Amie Wyatt. Luttrell and Mayfield received a vote from all seven board members; the others received four votes each. They are: Ash (Jamie Farough, Linda Armistead, Jon White, Kimberly McGee); Boyd (Carrie Pfeiffer, Farough, Armistead, Larry Tomlinson); Sells (Farough, Tomlinson, White, McGee); and Wyatt (Pfeiffer, Armistead, Tomlinson, White).

However, Boyd is no longer a candidate as he was selected to be the Washington County school superintendent on Monday night.

Victoria Shields (McGee) and Cassandra Shipp (Pfeiffer) each received one vote. The other four candidates received zero votes.

Current WCS Director Dr. Donna Wright plans to retire when her contract ends on June 30.

The parameters of how to conduct the interviews of the final candidates was the majority of discussion at the board meeting.

The board members seemed to disagree about how to conduct the interviews, the time length of the interviews per candidate and whether to do the interview sessions over one or two days.

However, it was determined that the interviews will take place March 25, beginning at 9 a.m. The names of the individuals will be drawn to determine in what order the interviews will take place.

The board members will submit potential questions to WCS Human Resources Director Rebecca Owens. She will determine if they are legal to be asked. The questions will also be submitted to the candidates so they can prepare their answers.

At the beginning of the interview, three questions will be given to the candidates. After than each board member will have five minutes to ask a question and get an answer. Each candidate will get 10 minutes to ask questions as well.

WCS school board attorney Mike Jennings said he would determine whether the meetings will be livestreamed or recorded and posted at the end of the completed interview sessions.

Other meeting items

The board met with Jennings for approximately 45 minutes in a closed-to-livestreaming executive session. The board voted to “proceed through the National Fire Adjustment Company with the parameters we discussed in executive session,” Jennings said about the insurance situation that has been ongoing since Stoner Creek Elementary and West Wilson Middle were destroyed in the March 2020 tornado.

Executive Sessions are usually limited to discussions about pending litigation. Jennings recommended to the board last December to have some insurance attorneys in mind if WCS filed a lawsuit.

Wright gave an update about statistics for virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year.

She said that 485 had completed the request. Of those, 439 in grades 6 through 12 were approved. The 46 others were denied because of grades, attendance or unsuccessful enrollment in the current year’s program.

Graduation information

Graduations at the five Wilson County High Schools will take place on the respective school’s campuses this year, instead of off-campus venues, as schools have done in the past.

The decision, made by Wright, was discussed during the WCS board workshop on Feb. 25.

Wright said that the district will allow $5,000 for each high school to conduct its graduation ceremonies. In the past, the individual schools would pay for its own costs. Some schools hosted ceremonies at other locations such as Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Wright said that she recommends the district continue paying for the graduation ceremonies. The dates and times of the ceremonies are on the WCS website.

MJHS tennis courts

The Mt. Juliet High School tennis courts will be named for Mike Hurley, a 21-year volunteer with the school’s tennis teams.

“Mike Hurley pours his heart and soul into each individual player on the tennis team, no matter the player’s skill level. He has led the team to many victories, but what’s more important is how the players remember him,” MJHS principal Beverly Sharpe wrote in a proposal for the honor.