Schools have work cut out in selecting director

Sometimes problems are a good thing.
Apr 2, 2014

Sometimes problems are a good thing. 

Interim Director Mary Ann Sparks released the resumes Saturday, revealing 17 applications for the Wilson County director of schools position left vacant when Tim Setterlund announced he would step down amid controversy. 

Two of the applicants are currently employed with Wilson County Schools and a third is currently the director of Trousdale County Schools.

Each candidate brings a variety of educational experience to the table and it’s likely any selection the Wilson County Board of Education makes moving forward would result in the hiring of a quality candidate. 

And so lies the quandary. It’s quite a dilemma the board faces this go-around in selecting the candidate that will lead our students, teachers, administrators and other school workers into the future. 

One thing is for certain. The board is right on track to have a new director of schools hired before a June 23 deadline it set for itself in February. 

“We fully prepare on having our next director in place before the June 23 deadline,” board chairman Don Weathers said at the time. “We do not want to enter into the new school year without having a permanent director.”

State law prohibits a director of schools to be appointed 45 days before or 30 days after an election. Under that scenario, the board would not be able to appoint a new director of schools between June 23 and Sept. 7 due to the Aug. 7 election.

After Sept. 7, about a two-week window opens until Sept. 20, which is 45 days before the Nov. 4 General Election. If the board cannot put a director of schools in place before June 23, or between Sept. 7-20, it would have to wait until after Dec. 4, according to state law.

Now that the field of candidates is set, it gives the board nearly three months to make this important decision. 

We urge the board to take these next three months to closely evaluate each candidate and judiciously narrow the field to a few and eventually the best candidate. 

Above all, we would expect any and all deliberations on selecting the next director of schools for Wilson County would be made both in the best interests of the students, as well as in the public eye. Public input should be valued and welcomed in this most significant decision facing the board.


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