By MARINA WATERS
As the Washington County Board of Education officially accepted Washington County Director of Schools Bill Flanary’s negotiated retirement agreement on Monday night, the nine-member board also accepted to enter into a contract officially naming Jerry Boyd the new director of schools.
The school board unanimously approved Flanary’s retirement, which includes a $1,400 honorarium and Boyd’s contract with an annual salary of $140,000.
“This is probably one of the greatest times everyone doesn’t get to experience in our school system,” Chairman Jason Day said via video call at Monday’s meeting.
Boyd was selected as the new director at the March 1 meeting after the board interviewed the other top four candidates for the position. Flanary announced his retirement earlier this year after 39 years with the county system.
“Thirty-nine years of service in Washington County Schools is an honor,” Board Member Mary Beth Dellinger said. “You worked as a teacher, supervisor and three years ago, took over as a director. You have brought our system to a place we can be proud of even through our most difficult year.”
The retirement includes the detail that Flanary will exit his role after April 5 with flexibility to assist the new director in his new role. Boyd will take over day-to-day duties starting April 5 while Flanary will still preside over graduation ceremonies, as well as other student and teacher achievement events.
Boyd has been the assistant commissioner for standards and materials and district operations with the Tennessee Department of Education after serving as the superintendent of Putnam County Schools from 2012-2020. He was also recently named a finalist in Wilson County, Tennessee’s search for a director but exited the search after the Washington County BOE selected Boyd earlier this month.
Flanary first came to Washington County 39 years ago as an agriculture teacher at David Crockett High School and has since served as a supervisor and director, which Board Member Annette Buchanan said has made a positive impact on the district.
“I get to thank you as a young man for choosing to come here,” Buchanan said. “You could have gone any other place and you came to Washington County. You came here as an agricultural teacher. You installed values back into our community by raising cattle and raising fish. You sure made me glad I raised plants instead of fish, I’ll sure tell you that…
“You showed them how to plant gardens and grow their own food. You’ve also as a (career technical education) director brought programs in … The things you’ve done for this system, you could have gone anywhere else but you stayed here. I want to thank you for that 39 years of service.”
Board Member David Hammond said Flanary has served as a “calm” the system needed once he took up the post in 2018. Before the audience gave Flanary a standing ovation, Board Member Keith Ervin said Flanary has offered his knowledge but also his friendship as the director over the years.
“When I was a sophomore in high school, here come a long-legged 22-year-old that thought he knew everything about agriculture,” Ervin said. “He did teach me a little bit, but he was more of a friend to me in ag than anything. I appreciate everything Mr. Flanary has done for this system and I think everyone needs to get up and give him a round of applause.”
The next BOE meeting will be held on Thursday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.wcde.org.