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Director candidates to be put to the test
Mar 30, 2007 12:00 am
Lisa McMillin, Wilson County School Board Chairman, told the Lebanon Noon Rotary Tuesday the five candidates to replace the retired Jim Duncan would be "put through the ringer" during their day-long interviews.
Each candidate will visit Wilson County for one day between April 16 and April 20. McMillin said the prospective directors have activities planned from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All will begin the day with an appearance on the Coleman and Company radio show on WANT-FM. From there, the candidates will take a tour of various county schools.
Each day, a candidate will meet for lunch with civic and community leaders in a different Wilson County municipality. On Monday, candidate Bob Bowers will have lunch with Mt. Juliet officials, followed by candidate Charles Lindsey on Thursday. On Tuesday, Beth Wright will meet with Lebanon leaders, followed by Mike Davis on Friday. Watertown leaders will meet Steven Knight for lunch on Wednesday.
The candidate will then spend the afternoon meeting with Wilson County educators at the Teacher Training Center.
A four-hour interview with the school board will close the long day for the candidates.
McMillin told the Rotarians all citizens of Wilson County are invited to the interviews.
"It's very important to have the public's input," she said.
After all the interviews are complete, the board will vote and the top two vote-getters will face a second interview. McMillin said while the final details of a contract for a new director had not been finalized, the package developed during last summer's search had a salary between $100,000 and $105,000. With benefits, the total value was approximately $125,000. State law prevents directors' contracts to run longer than four years, but McMillin said initially, she'd like to see a shorter term.
"What I would like is to offer a two-year contract that expires in a non-election year to avoid the problems we had last summer," she said.
McMillin and school board member Greg Lasater successfully halted last summer's director search, saying any new members elected to the board in August should have a say in choosing the new director. After the Aug. 3 election, the board set a new timetable to have a new director by this summer.
McMillin said whomever of the five prospects becomes director will face some daunting tasks.
"Some people love a challenge and Wilson County is a challenge with the unprecedented growth, so we are selling ourselves as a challenge. They [the new director] are going to have to fight for everything they can get. Education has sometimes taken a backseat in Wilson County," she said.