Maryville Schools sets director search timeline
By Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com)
The Maryville Board of Education has set a rough timeline for its director of schools search.
Maryville Director of Schools Stephanie Thompson has announced her retirement effective Dec. 31. She’s worked 35 years in public education, serving as a teacher, coach, librarian and system-level administrator.
During Monday’s work session, Chairwoman Christi Sayles recommended that the school board accept applications per its policy. She further recommended that board members review the applications and meet in a future meeting to discuss their next steps.
Sayles recommended that board members head the search. “I’m not interested in paying TSBA or anyone else to conduct a search,” she said.
Vice Chairman Denny Garner agreed with Sayles. Garner said he had spoken with Dr. Tammy Grissom, Tennessee School Boards Association’s executive director, about the director of schools search.
Grissom didn’t express any concerns with the board’s plan, Garner said.
Sayles later recommended the school board accept applications between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31 and discuss candidates in a work session, which is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 16. The board’s monthly meeting will follow this work session.
Jan Click, coordinator of leadership and evaluation, moderated Monday’s work session. She guided board members through four questions:
• What traits/skills do we expect in our next director?;
• What actions would we see as on-the-job evidence of these traits/skills?;
• How will we operate as a body and individuals to ensure success?;
• What process will we follow to name our new director?
Board members drafted a list of nonnegotiable traits/skills, including:
• strong community member who understands Maryville City Schools’ culture and values relationships;
• enthusiastic and passionate about Maryville City Schools’ responsibilities to students/community;
• great communicator;
• strong leader;
• strong fiscal manager;
• strong skills in hiring principals;
• held significant leadership positions;
• strong disciplinarian;
• classroom experience;
• in-house experience;
• teacher motivator.
Candy Morgan advised that the director of schools needs to be forward-looking. “We do a lot of things right, but we don’t do everything right. We need to be open to outside influences.”
Sayles agreed with Morgan. “We need to look outside the state for benchmark comparisons.”