Schools give green light to tech center

The Wilson County Board of Education unanimously approved Monday a contract with the Tennessee Board of Regents to bring a state Career Technical Center to Lebanon. The board tentatively approved an agreement with the Tennessee Board of Regents on May 6 to locate in the former Wilson Count...
Jun 3, 2013
 Photo: Jared Felkins • Lebanon Democrat

Wilson County school board chairman Don Weathers (right) presents outgoing Director of Schools Mike Davis a plaque Monday at Davis' last board meeting.

The Wilson County Board of Education unanimously approved Monday a contract with the Tennessee Board of Regents to bring a state Career Technical Center to Lebanon.

The board tentatively approved an agreement with the Tennessee Board of Regents on May 6 to locate in the former Wilson County Career Technical Center facility at 418 Harding Drive behind the old Lebanon High School.

At that meeting, board member Ron Britt moved to enter into the agreement upon recommendation by board attorney Mike Jennings with some added stipulations.

Board chairman Don Weathers said the Tennessee Board of Regents must approve three additions to the agreement before the college can move into the Lebanon facility.

On Monday, Jennings said the Tennessee Board of Regents had done its best to fulfill those added stipulations and recommended the board sign the contract.

“I met with them via telephone, and I think we have done the best we can to deal with the three issues,” Jennings said.

Jennings said the three concerns the board had were Wilson County students’ safety while on the college campus, guaranteed slots for Wilson County students and college officials agreeing to work with Career Technical Education coordinator Bill Moss to help Wilson County students find local jobs by offering classes to fit the needs of Wilson County employers.

“I can't get them to guarantee their safety, but if the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't advise you to put that same language in there,” Jennings said.

Jennings said the state Board of Regents also agreed to hold slots available first to Wilson County students but with a deadline for applying.

Board member Ron Britt was reluctant to agree with Jennings on the Tennessee Board of Regents’ willingness to hold spaces for Wilson County students.

“I appreciate all the work you've done, but when you do work with the state, you're going to come out on the short end of the stick,” Britt said. “I'm saying that tongue in cheek, but they are not going to give us enough slots for our students.”

Jennings said the number of slots open to Wilson County students would increase over time.

Monday’s meeting also served as the last for Mike Davis in his capacity as director of schools. Davis will begin his new position as director of schools with Robertson County on July 1.

Timothy Setterlund, chief transition officer in the merger between Memphis City and Shelby County schools will take his place. Setterlund listened to the meeting via conference call.

“You've got great things ahead of you here at Wilson County schools,” Davis said. “I wish you well in 2013-14, and thank you for supporting Wilson County schools.”

The board honored Davis with a plaque and will have a reception for him June 27 from 3-5 p.m. at Lebanon High School.

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