City BOE prepares to search for Director of Curriculum

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   Elizabethton Board of Education members on Thursday evening discussed searching for a new Assistant Director of Schools/Director of Curriculum once the position is vacated by Rondald Taylor on Aug. 31. According to regulations, the board cannot post the job and look for a replacement until Taylor's resignation has become affective.
   Members of the board considered qualifications of a replacement for Taylor. "Some of these functions I feel should be updated," said Board Member Catherine Wooten Armstrong, citing references to administering a spelling bee and oversight of the teacher's center in the job description currently adopted by the board for the position of Assistant Director of Schools/Director of Curriculum.
   "Do we need an Assistant Director of Schools?" questioned Board Member Judy Richardson. "A Director of Curriculum, yes, but an Assistant Director of Schools? We only have five schools."
   Richardson pointed to portions of the job description that state that the Assistant Director is to hold monthly meetings with principals and various departments, then report back to the Director of Schools. "I think the Director of Schools should hold those meetings," Richardson said. "We want our Director of Schools to be out in our schools."
   Armstrong agreed with Richardson. "I feel that a few of these duties need to be in the director's job," she said.
   Board Member Bob Berry stated he did not think it was necessary to change the duties of the Assistant Director's position. "I'm just trying not to hog-tie our Director of Schools so that they have to be at everything that comes up," he said.
   Interim Director of Schools Richard Culver advised the board that he and other personnel from the BOE office plan to review the job description for the Assistant Director's position and refine it before posting the job as available. "The number one goal is to make sure this job deals mostly with curriculum," Culver said.
   Due to the fact that many of the board members want to see the Assistant Director of Schools/Director of Curriculum position geared more toward handling mainly curriculum, Armstrong made a motion to abolish the position as it is written and create a new position titled Director of Curriculum. Armstrong said the committee of personnel who are reviewing job duties should write out the job description for that position. The motion was seconded by Richardson.
   The board voted to approve the motion with only one dissenting vote cast by Berry who stated that he did not feel that the change was necessary.
   Currently, the BOE has also recently contracted the Tennessee School Boards Association to aid in the search for a new Director of Schools.
   Filling both positions at the same time is causing a bit of a stretch for the system, according to Dr. Robert Sams, BOE chairman. "It's the job of the Director of Schools to employ the Director of Curriculum, as it will now be called," Sams said. "Theoretically, we should wait (until a Director of Schools is selected) but we won't be able to."
   The board also approved the purchase of a 40-quart floor mixer to be used at T.A. Dugger Junior High School for the amount of $7,260.27 as well as the Free/Reduced Price Meal Policy Statement and the Non-Discrimination Policy Statement associated with the reduced meal program.