by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the June 12 meeting in a six to two split vote, the Franklin County School Board appointed Stanley Bean to serve a two-year term as director of schools.
Board member Linda Jones nominated Bean to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of current director Amie Lonas. “Bean has served the Franklin County Schools as a teacher, coach, administrator, and supervisor,” Jones said. “Dr. Lonas has shown her confidence in Bean by appointing him Director of Student Services and county-wide Athletic Director. He would be able to work with Dr. Lonas in her remaining days and be ready to step into the position in the fall.” Bean has also served 10 years as a Franklin County Commissioner, Jones noted.
While commending Bean’s credentials, Sewanee area school board representative Adam Tucker said, “I won’t support appointing anyone longer than on a month to month contract unless they are selected in a competitive application process.”
Board member Sara Liechty agreed. “We need to do a search. We owe that to the system and to the children.”
“I’ve had several people express interest in the position,” said Board Chair CleiJo Walker.
“I’ve also been contacted by several qualified and experienced people,” Liechty said. “There are many that deserve an opportunity to submit an application and resume.”
“Things come to a halt if we stop and do a job search,” Jones countered. “I’ve also been contacted by someone interested in the position, but they weren’t happy in their present job and that concerns me. With Bean, we don’t have the doubt and uncertainty of a stranger. Bean was a finalist in the job search when we hired Dr. Lonas.”
“The board has the right to appoint someone temporary to the position,” board member Christine Hopkins pointed out.
Tucker said that an interim couldn’t be a candidate unless given a special waiver by the board. (See Board Policy 5.801 below.)
“My motion would eliminate an interim,” Jones said.
The board’s legal counsel Chuck Cagel had offered to perform the search giving a timeline of several months with Sept. 1 as the deadline for appointing a director. Walker estimated the cost to the school system as less than $2,000.
“We just did this two years ago,” said board member Chris Guess who seconded Jones’ nomination. “You take a guy who’s dedicated his life to the Franklin County school system—we’d be hard put to find someone better.”
“Bean chaired the capital building program and is well positioned to address questions about construction of the new middle school,” Jones added.
Board members Guess, Gary Hanger, Hopkins, Jones, Lance Williams and Walker voted in favor of Bean’s appointment, although Walker expressed reservations about not doing a search. Liechty and Tucker opposed Bean’s appointment.
The board is expected to vote on the contract making Bean’s appointment official at the special called meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 22.
The meeting’s purpose is to finalize the budget. The board hopes to have state funding and property tax funding data by then. The County Commission Finance Committee will review the budget on Thursday, July 6.
In other business, Lonas alerted the board to a discrepancy in TNReady testing data, which impacted some high school students’ end of course (EOC) scores. The Tennessee Department of Education requires the school system to include TNReady test score data as 10 percent of the final grade, Lonas said. In Algebra 1, Geometry 1, and English 1, 2, and 3, a different TNReady test with different scoring was used this spring. Fall semester’s EOC scores, which incorporated data from that semester’s TNReady testing, could not be fairly compared to EOC scores incorporating data from this spring’s TNReady test.
Lonas said the schools hadn’t yet received an answer from the state about how to address the discrepancy, so scores for the affected subject areas were removed from the grade card. A revised grade card will be mailed later in the summer.
Lonas’ last day is Friday, June 30. In a parting tribute Hopkins said, “This whole community has fallen in love with you. Thank you for bringing your knowledge, wisdom, and leadership to this community. We hate to see you go.” The board and visitors rose in a standing ovation.
Director of Schools Recruitment and Selection Policy 5.801
When a vacancy occurs, the appointment of a director of schools is a function of the Board. The Board is responsible for finding the person it believes can most effectively translate into action the policies of the Board and the goals of the community and the professional staff.
The Board may employ a consultant to advise and assist the Board in the search and selection process. However, final selection shall rest with the Board after a thorough consideration of qualified applicants.
An interim director of schools appointed during the time of a search shall not become a candidate unless the Board expressly permits such inclusion in the selection procedures. A board member may not apply for or in any other way be considered for the position of director of schools.
Prior to conducting a search to fill the position, the Board shall initially develop the following:
• a job description
• a timeline
• a process for accepting and reviewing applications
• selection procedures which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
The Board may wish to involve the community, and employees, in the process of selecting a director of schools. Resumes of persons interviewed by the Board shall be available in the central office for public inspection.
The interview process for each nalist may include meetings with various staff as well as community groups and an interview with the entire board.
Candidates shall be interviewed by the Board in an open session. Only board members will be allowed to ask questions during the interview.
The Board will attempt to select a director by majority vote, with an unanimous vote being preferred.
For more information go to http://www.fcstn.net/