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Town selects final two for school design committee



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The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Monday to appoint two town residents to the newly formed Jonesborough K-8 School Project design committee.

Laura Cusick, nominated by Alderman Stephen Callahan, and Bryan Barnett, nominated by Alderman Terry Countermine, were both unanimously approved by a board led by Vice Mayor Adam Dickson. 

Mayor Chuck Vest was not at the meeting, but reached out later to the Herald & Tribune after the meeting.

First, Vest said, he wanted to stress that while there were a number of good candidates, the town was committed to avoiding any signs of preferential treatment in its selections.”

“That did eliminate some parents that would’ve certainly been great candidates as well,” he explained.

But Vest also believes that the two individuals selected are going to be a great addition to the committee, which  is now complete and currently includes Vest, Town Administrator Bob Browning, school board members Todd Ganger, Mary Beth Dellinger, Phillip McLain, Jonesborough teacher Jan Allen, School Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Patrick, Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy and Washington County Commissioner Jodi Jones.

“Bryan Barnett is a long-time volunteer in our community, especially in athletics, including past president of the Jonesborough Little League but also a member of our Jonesborough Planning Commission which deals with building and planning issues,” Vest said. “He has coached about every sport and is currently involved in coaching at our schools. I think it’s equally important we gather information and insight on how we can improve athletic features and educational features in the project. Bryan will help do that.”

Vest describes Laura Cusick as a parent of three school children and an active supporter of the Jonesborough PTA. She also has experience in marketing and business.

“That attribute will be helpful as we develop the more cosmetic touch to signage, colors, comfort and other features in the school,” he said.

Both are also well-liked in the community, Vest stressed.

“Our expectation is to build a facility for our community that sets a high bar of success that other communities will strive to match and parents and children will desire to join,” he said.