School Board Announces Short List of Candidates for Director of Jefferson County School

The Jefferson County School Board narrowed 9 candidates for the Director of Jefferson County Schools down to three finalist. Names of the finalists were announced at the Regular Voting Meeting of the Jefferson County School Board on Thursday evening, March 22, 2018. One local applicant and two from outside the area made the short list and will be a part of the final interview process. Local candidate Mark Garrett is currently the Superintendent for McDowell Co, NC. He is a native of Jefferson County and has five years experience as a superintendent and 14 years administrative experience. Joining Garrett in the final pool are Michael Steele of Nashville and Shane Johnston of Rhea County. Steele has spent years in law enforcement and is currently the Principal of Stratford Magnet School. He has 8 years of experience as principal. Johnston is the Assistant Superintendent of Rhea County, where he has served for two years. Prior to that he was a principal for seven years and also has a Doctorate of Ministry. The School Board will conduct final interviews on Monday, April 2, 2018, and expect to offer the position to one of the three applicants following the interview process. Interviews are open to the public.

Under Items for Information – According to the Jefferson County Finance Director Potts, revenues are currently slightly up and expenditures are on track. A review of the internal audit report, which deals with inter school accounting, had significantly fewer findings than previously. The school budget is in the working process and should be ready for board review in April. A public forum on school safety will be held on April 3, 2018 at the James D Swann Performing Arts Center at Jefferson County High School.

Under New Business – The board approved on first reading several policy changes for review and adoption, with a motion from Potts and 2nd from Cox. They also approved several budget amendments from the general purpose, federal, and food Service budgets. Upon a motion from Jarnigan and 2nd from Solomon, the board approved dues for the TSBA 2019 membership in the amount of $7,573. Requests to use the Jefferson County Fair Ground for School Safety Day and the Annual FFA Tractor Pull were approved.

Under Unfinished Business – The board approved the 2018/19 School Calender Option 1 with a motion from Jarnigan and 2nd from Solomon. They also approved a three year $190 per hour contract with attorney Scott Bennett and a $250 perfect attendance bonus for part time student nutrition employees with motions from Potts/Cox and Jarnigan/Cox respectively. (Bradley voting No)

Source: K. Depew, News Director