Wilson County Schools search for a new director is ramping up as a series of community meetings kicked off Monday and the application period has closed.

WCS Deputy Director Rebecca Owens said 12 people have applied for the position, which leads a school district with nearly 19,000 students and more than 2,000 employees. It is also one of the best performing districts in the state, is rapidly growing, and had two of its 22 schools destroyed by a tornado in 2020.

Other than their names, details about the candidates were not available, as Owens said with the district office closed by the weather on Friday, she was unable to provide more information. Two of the candidates are WCS employees.

They, and the rest of the candidates, are:

• Jeffrey Luttrell, currently a WCS HR supervisor

• Travis Mayfield, principal at Wilson Central High School

• John E. Ash

• James Belcher

• Jerry S. Boyd

• Deanna McClendon

• Karl Puryear

• Robert Sells

• Victoria Shields

• Cassandra Shipp

• Thomas Wilson

• Aimee Wyatt

WCS board Chairman Larry Tomlinson said he thought there would be more applicants, but “from what I’ve seen, there are some good candidates.”

He said the board would likely narrow the field down before beginning interviews.

“Some of them I’m not interested in even talking to,” Tomlinson said. “Why waste their time and our time.” The board, he said, would be making these decisions collaboratively.

The school board will be hosting four community meetings and one for Wilson County Education Association members. Two of the meetings were Monday and Tuesday. The remaining two are:

• Wednesday at 5:30: WCEA members-only at the Administrative and Training Complex, 415 Harding Drive, Lebanon.

• Wednesday at 7 p.m.: Watertown High School auditorium, 9360 Sparta Pike.

• Friday at 6 p.m.: Wilson Central High School auditorium, 419 Wildcat Way.

The meetings will be casual, with the board seeking input on what parents want in a new director. People are invited to come and go to offer their comments.

The board is also seeking input through a community survey that was sent to employees, parents and other stakeholders. The survey can also be taken through the district’s website. The director search page is at wcschools.com/domain/2081.

It is the board’s goal to have a director hired at the May 3 board meeting, which would allow him or her to spend time with current Director Donna Wright before her June 30 retirement.

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