Seventeen apply to be schools director

Friday, February 5, 2010

In the last week before the deadline, 11 more applications for the position of director of schools were received at Central Office, bringing the total to 17.

Among them are four current employees of the Marshall County School System:

* Roy Dukes, interim director

* Randy Hubbell, Lewisburg Middle School principal

* Beverly Miller, supervisor of secondary instruction

* Larry Miller, Forrest High School principal

Six applicants have Tennessee addresses:

* Damon R. Cathey, administrator, Kingsport City School

* Carla H. Franklin, principal, Hawkins Mill Elementary School (Memphis)* Steven Gallaway, former director of elementary schools, Williamson County

* Eugene H. Johnson Jr., assistant director of schools, Sullivan County

* Brenda T. King, executive director of human resources, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

* Beverly G. Murrey, retired educator, Pulaski

The rest are from out of state:

* Spurgeon Banyard, principal, A.H. Parker High School, Birmingham, Ala.* Alan Miller, director of student services, Eufaula City Schools, Eufaula, Ala.
* James H. Turbeville, former superintendent, Tattnall County School District, Georgia

* Douglas W. Cotton, education consultant, Glasgow, Ky.

* James L. Francis, certified specialist, Jefferson County Schools, Louisville, Ky.

* Alexis Seymore, superintendent, Dawson Springs School System, Kentucky.

* Marvin H. Jeter III, assistant superintendent of school innovation, Tulsa Public Schools District, Oklahoma.

An 18th application, from a high school principal in Mississippi, was received on Feb. 1, but it was postmarked Jan. 29, the day after the deadline, so the school board has the option to discard it.

"Discuss Director Search" is on the agenda for the school board's February meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, at Cornersville Elementary School.

"We've got to roll our sleeves up and go to work," said board chairman Mike Keny. "We will begin the process, if that's what the board chooses to do. I'm sure everybody will have their thoughts."

Last time Marshall County searched for a director of schools, they used the services of the Tennessee School Boards Association advertise for applicants (they got 16), and narrow the field down to the five who were interviewed. The board considered, and rejected, a move to add three local candidates to the list.

This time, the board is not using the TSBA, so they will have to reduce the field themselves.

"I don't look forward to it being quick," Keny said. "We will put a timeline in place."

He pointed out that four of the current board members participated in the selection process in 2008 - Randy Perryman, Craig Michael, Kristen Gold and Ann Tears - while Barbara Kennedy was on the board that selected John David Pierce, the director that preceded Stan Curtis. Curt Denton, elected to the school board later that year, attended all five candidate interviews in 2008 as a concerned member of the public and parent of school-age children.

Pierce and Curtis are the only directors that have been selected by the school board. Previously, director of schools was an elected office.

"It's critical for Marshall County that our director of schools possess the experience level and the leadership qualities that Dukes is providing," said board member Craig Michael, who declined to comment on what the 2008 board could have done differently to ensure their choice was a success.