Longtime Wilson County Schools Deputy Director Mickey Hall is retiring effective Dec. 31.

“I made a decision to retire,” Hall said Friday. “I have some things, some opportunities, I’m working on.” He added that he would have no further comment until after the district next board meeting, which was Monday.

The retirement was announced to the board on Thursday by WCS Director Donna Wright. Through WCS spokesman Bart Barker, Wright declined to comment on Hall’s retirement. Barker said she would make a statement at Monday’s meeting.

Board Chairman Larry Tomlinson said Friday that Hall will be missed.

“I hate to see Mickey go,” Tomlinson said. “He’s been very valuable to the district.”

Hall oversees the district’s budget and construction projects, as well as other duties. Barker said Wright would take over Hall’s responsibilities while a search is underway for his replacement.

Tomlinson said Hall is one of the top school finance experts in the state and is “highly respected in the field.” Hall has also overseen the construction of several campuses. That has saved the district “a bunch of money,” Tomlinson said, because the district has not had to hire project managers.

For the past nine months, Hall has been the district’s point person on negotiations over the insurance settlement for the two schools destroyed or heavily damaged by the March 3 tornado. Those negotiations are ongoing, and Tomlinson said Wright is up to speed and capable of taking over for Hall.

Tomlinson expressed some frustration over the delay in settling the claims for Stoner Creek Elementary and West Wilson Middle schools.

The fact that it’s an $80 million claim makes the delay somewhat understandable, he said, but nevertheless it has put the district is a “bad position” when it comes to replacing and rebuilding those schools.

Tomlinson said he expects Wright to hire a new deputy director despite the fact that she is retiring effective June 30, 2021.

“That will be Dr. Wright’s decision,” he said. “I’m sure she’ll be talking to the board about it, but I can’t see her waiting and letting the new guy hire the finance person.”

The board will begin the process for replacing Wright early next year, Tomlinson said. Whether the board decides to conduct the search themselves or involve an group like the Tennessee School Boards Association has not been determined.

“I think there are some people within our system that Dr. Wright has nurtured that could fill the position,” Tomlinson said. “There will be a lot of interest in it.”

Hall’s desire to move on became evident last spring, when he applied for the directorship of Maury County Public Schools last spring. He was named one of three finalists, but did not get the job.

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