McInturf makes his case to BOE

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com
Elizabethton Board of Education members interviewed their third candidate in the running for the city's director of schools position Monday night.
Bristol Tennessee City Schools administrator Dr. Richard A. McInturf took his turn fielding questions from board members and discussing his desire to become Elizabethton City Schools' next superintendent.
"This is the only position in a school system I haven't held," said McInturf. "I would dearly love to give this a shot."
A resident of Johnson City, McInturf has served as supervisor of Federal Programs and Staff Development with BTCS 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.
McInturf directs federal projects and entitlement programs and professional development of school system staff members. He also interprets the federal No Child Left Behind legislation in his current position. Board members questioned McInturf's leadership ability, familiarity with conflict resolution and vision for the school system.
In offering his vision for Elizabethton City Schools, he invoked the vision statement of the Bristol City School System: Maximize student success. "That maxim was the barometer for each decision the system made," he said.
The No Child Left Behind law placed a great emphasis on his department understanding curriculum and budgetary needs, McInturf said, adding that the law itself had moved federal projects out of special education and into mainstream schooling. "No Child Left Behind has put federal projects squarely in the middle of the general education program," he said.
McInturf told the board he had no problems being straightforward and communicative with them or reining them in on controversial issues. He said his position overseeing staff development kept him working with teachers and staff across the school system.
He told the board he submitted his resume to the Tennessee School Boards Association one day after learning former director Dr. Judy Blevins stepped down. He did confirm to the board Monday night that he did not have experience as a teacher in a self-contained classroom nor extensive experience managing a general fund budget.
McInturf began his career in education as reading project coordinator with the Johnson City School System in 1974. He spent nine years as director of Project COMRAD (Computer Managed Reading and Development) involving computer-managed instruction for several Northeast Tennessee school systems. He holds an undergraduate degree in education from Milligan College and a graduate degree in reading from East Tennessee State University. He has taught evaluation and research courses at ETSU's College of Education since 1999 after acquiring his doctorate in education from ETSU.
The board interviewed candidates Dr. David S. Roper and Dr. John D. Payne on Saturday. Richard D. Hooker - selected as one of the five candidates by TSBA - withdrew his name from consideration last week. Former T.A. Dugger Junior High School Principal Richard Culver came out of retirement after being appointed to serve as the system's interim director in July.
The board will conduct its final interview Wednesday night when Guy G. Fisher of Clarksville-Montgomery County School system meets with the board.