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New McKinney Center director selected

The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen were expected to hear the recommendation for a new director for the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 7.
Theresa Hammons, who is currently the director of the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University, has been tapped for the role. Her new job with the McKinney Center would encompass the responsibilities of two former employees – Bridgette Ward, who served as executive director, and education director Kathleen Buttolph, both of whom left the town’s employ earlier this year.
Browning said a selection committee had reviewed more than 20 applications for the job and chose 10 candidates to be interviewed.
“We had some really good applicants for the position,” Browning said, “but Theresa came across as a step above in terms of background and work experience.”
“She has an interesting balance between doing interpretive things as well as things that are specifically related to the arts,” Browning said.
“She is coming to Jonesborough mainly because of the emphasis on the education part of the job,” he added. “It’s something she really wants to be involved with — the classes, working with kids and using the arts to do community relationship building.”
Hammons has a history of success, Browning noted, citing her work at the Carroll Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University since 2006.
“The Reece had gone down a bit and she got the museum recertified,” he said. “It is now well thought of in the university setting.”
The McKinney Center Director position was placed at Grade 14 or an annual salary of $36,455 in the town’s budget. However Browning recommended increasing the salary to $39,426, or a Grade 15, passed on Hammons’ experience.
Hammons won’t be the only new face at the center, pending BMA approval. Browning is also recommending the hire of a new interim program specialist for the center – Pam Daniels – who was one of the applicants for the director’s position, to be paid $15,450 annually with payroll tax.
“The committee discussed the workload for the director and they decided Pam should come on board in a part-time role,” Browning said. The expense of both positions, he said, are less than originally approved by the BMA.
Calling Daniels “a natural fit,” he said she would be involved in the programmatic aspect that focuses on being inclusive.
“We want her to be involved in looking at the way we operate and making sure we are involving all segments of our populations in our programming,” Browning added. “That’s Pam’s forte – she is a uniter, a person who brings people together.”
Daniels has served as an assistant pastor at Bethel Church in Jonesborough and owns her own event planning and catering business. She is also an artist and will be teaching ceramics at the center.