School director field mixes locals and newcomers

By Thomas Wilson
Inside pages for Sunday
One member of the five-candidate field could become the next director Elizabethton City Schools if they pass muster of the system's Board of Education.
A representative with the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) presented their five finalists culled from over 20 possible candidates to the board last week.
* Guy G. Fisher III, of Southside, presently serves as director of human resources with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. Prior to that, he was director of secondary education with the system.
According to his resume, Fisher spent 25 years in the Alaska public education system before coming to Clarksville in 1997. He has been a teacher and administrator at several elementary and high schools during his career including holding the principal's job at the most student-populous high school in Alaska with 2,500.
He began his career in 1971 as a teacher in Anchorage, Alaska., spending five years in the classroom before becoming an assistant principal in 1976. Fisher remained in administration thereafter. He holds a master's degree in teaching from Alaska Pacific University and has a Superintendent Certification credential from the University of Alaska.
* Robert D. Hooker resides in North Vernon, Ind. Hooker has served as superintendent of Scott County School District 2 in Scottsburg, Ind. since 1999. Hooker directs a system of 177 teachers, 2800 students and a general fund budget of $16.6 million, according to his qualifications. He previously served as assistant superintendent overseeing curriculum and instruction at Jennings County Schools in Indiana from 1991 to 1998.
Hooker began his career in education as an elementary teacher in 1975 and spent 10 years in the classroom at four elementary schools in the Midwest. He took on his first administrative position as principal of Mansfield Elementary School in Mansfield, Ill. in 1985.
He holds a master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Indiana at Indianapolis and a specialist's degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Hooker also has a connection to the region; he earned his undergraduate degree in Physical Education from Milligan College in 1975.
* Dr. John D. Payne was born in Mountain City and has held several administrative positions in four Northeast Tennessee school systems during his career. He is the former superintendent of both the Unicoi County and Johnson County school systems.
According to his resume, Payne spent one year as a classroom teacher at Mountain City Elementary School. He became the school's principal in 1973. He held two other administrative offices with the Johnson County system before becoming the schools' superintendent in 1984 to 1992. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a doctorate in Education from East Tennessee State University.
Payne retired in July as Director of Schools with Unicoi County after that county's board of education refused to renew his contract. He served as director of business and finance with Elizabethton City Schools from 1993 to 1995.
* Dr. Richard McInturf resides in Johnson City. McInturf has served as supervisor of federal programs and staff development with Bristol Tennessee City Schools since 1998. Since joining that system in 1990, he has also served as the system's supervisor of elementary education and was principal of Haynesfield Elementary School from 1995-1998.
According to his resume, Hooker spent nine years as director of Project COMRAD (Computer Managed Reading and Development) -- an

Elementary and Secondary Education Act project involving computer-managed instruction for several Northeast Tennessee school systems

. He later served as associate director of the Upper East Tennessee Educational Cooperative from 1984 to 1990.
He holds undergraduate degree in Education from Milligan, a graduate degree in Reading and a doctorate of Education from ETSU. McInturf is certified as a superintendent, teacher, reading instructor, supervisor of instruction and professional administrator by the state of Tennessee. He began his career in education as reading project coordinator with the Johnson City School System in 1974.
* Dr. David M. Roper, of Roanoke, Ala., has been superintendent of Roanoke City Schools since 1999. He came to that school system after more than 20 years with the Birmingham City Schools.
Roper's professional experience is weighted to curriculum and special projects, as well counseling and student evaluations. He was a counselor and program specialist with the Birmingham city system, conducting student evaluations and reviewing students individual educational programs from 1978 to 1998, according to his resume.
He holds doctoral degrees in Counseling and Guidance as well as Education Administration from the University of Alabama. Roper holds professional certifications from the state of Alabama as a superintendent, teacher, and counselor.
According to the Elizabethton Superintendent Search timeline, Interviews with the five candidates are scheduled to begin during the last week of October. If the Board of Education sticks to the parameters set forth by the Tennessee School Boards Association, they could make a final selection by mid-November.