By COLLIN BROOKS
The Washington County School Board anticipated narrowing down a list of 20 applicants for the Washington County Superintendent down to five during its March 3 meeting. Instead, they voted to have six candidates.
However, after being named a finalist, Elizabeth Alves, who serves as Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer for the Knox County School System, withdrew her name from consideration, which brought the list back down to five.
During the meeting, Tennessee School Board Association Executive Director Dr. Tammy Grissom presented the board with the five nominees suggested by her group and, after voting to accept those, a motion was made by Clarence Mabe to nominate Dr. William Flanary, who was not one of the five that the TSBA recommended.
The motion passed 6-3, with Keith Ervin, Todd Ganger and Annette Buchanan opposing the motion. Ganger explained his opposition to the board before they voted.
“I will say nothing against Dr. Flanary. I think he is a valid candidate. But my opinion is that we paid TSBA a lot of money to conduct this search and bring us up to five candidates that she and her committee felt best suited the criteria of our system, and there is a reason that we did that,” Ganger said. “We are veering away from what we as a board decided to do.”
The county paid the TSBA $8,500 for the search in order to narrow the list down. Another day was added to the interview process to accommodate Flanary, which was originally supposed to take place from March 14-18.
Now, Flanary, who is currently the Washington County Assistant Director of Schools, will have his interview on March 11. Public meetings will be held on March 11 and from March 14-17 at 5:30 p.m. as the board interviews the candidates. The March 18 interview date was eliminated once Alves withdrew.
— Dr. William R. Flanary has served as the Washington County Assistant Director of Schools since July 1998. During that time, he has had numerous responsibilities within the school system, including being the supervisor of secondary curriculum and instruction, director of career and technical education and chairman of Washington County Disciplinary Hearing Authority, along with numerous other roles.
— Dr. Dixie Chapman Bowen will interview on March 14 and is currently the Supervisor of Elementary Education and Supervisor of Student Services for the Bristol City Schools, a position she has held since 2006.
In that role, she acts as a direct supervisor to six elementary principals and two secondary principals. Before assuming that role, she was principal of Anderson Elementary School in Bristol from 1997-2005. Bowen also has experience as a teacher, having taught sixth grade at Haynesfield Elementary School from 1991-1997.
— Dr. Tammy Larkey Pearce will interview on March 15 and currently serves as principal at Liberty Bell Middle School, a position she had held since 2011. Before that she was principal at Indian Trail Middle School for six years a role she stepped into after being the assistant principal for four years.
Pearce started teaching at David Crockett High School in 1988, where she stayed until 1996. She then had a three-year stint at Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas, before returning to her alma mater Daniel Boone High School to teach for two years.
— Dr. Ginger Christian will interview on March 16 and currently serves as RTI curriculum supervisor and professional development coordinator for secondary education for the Washington County Department of Education.
She has been in that role since July 2011. She also currently serves as an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University. Christian also has experience in the classroom as she was an inter-related special education teacher for Henry County Schools in Henry, Georgia from 2004-2009.
— Kimber L. Halliburton will interview on March 17 and is currently the lead principal for the Metro Nashville Public School System, where she oversees six schools in her assigned network.
She has been there since 2013. In 2014, she also became the principal of Waverly Belmont Elementary School in Nashville. Halliburton also has more than two decades of experience in the classroom.
A special called meeting will be held on March 29, which could result in a motion and a vote for the hiring of the new Washington County Director of Schools.
If one is not made then, it is expected that the new director could be named on April 7, during the school board’s April meeting.