By COLLIN BROOKS
The Washington County Board of Education knew they wanted Kimber Halliburton to be the next Director of Schools and on Friday afternoon, it became official. A short announcement, followed by Halliburton and Washington County BOE Chairman Todd Ganger signing the contract, made Halliburton the first woman to assume the role.
And the room full of people made sure to let Halliburton know they were happy to have her.
“I was overwhelmed by the number of people in the community who came out for the signing,” Halliburton said. “I have felt so welcomed by this community, the people here — and these are not just words — have made me feel like they really want me to be here.
“My family and I are really excited to be moving and be a resident here in Washington County.”
Ganger said he was pleased to be able to get know Halliburton during the contract negotiation process, which ended with Halliburton receiving $127,500 per year.
“I think the community support for her coming in is at a very high level and I think she will continue to bring more community leaders and the community in general — everyone — together,” Ganger said.
Halliburton spent Wednesday and Thursday touring the school facilities, which included a stop at Boones Creek Middle School during the second day. She said she saw the reason why the board has decided to replace the school, which was built in 1939.
“Absolutely,” Halliburton said when asked if she saw the need for a new Boones Creek facility. “It’s just a reality that facilities become outdated. There comes a point in time when there are only so many roofs you can repair and so many repairs that you can make. Students deserve a nice place to go to every day and teachers deserve a nice work place and I could certainly see the need for a new facility at this point.”
However, there were also other things that she noticed while touring the facilities.
“I had the opportunity to tour most all the schools – I think I have three schools left to tour – but there is just some great leadership in our schools, great teacher leadership — from the principal level to the teacher level — and we have some phenomenal students that I am really proud of.
“I think we have a lot to build on. There are a lot of great things that are happening here that we can really build on, in terms of instruction and improving our achievement.”
Halliburton will take over her role as Director of Schools on July 1.