The Blount County Board of Education meeting last Friday served as the platform for an early and significant change associated with Superintendent Rodney Green’s new administration. Two assistant superintendent positions were created in place of the one assistant superintendent position held for the last 12 years by Green himself.
The assistant superintendent, curriculum and instructional services, will be Dr. Stoney Beavers, whose job has been expanded to include curriculum responsibilities for the entire system, supervision of federal programs, coordination of professional development, supervision of special educational instructional services, and supervision of technology delivery in the classroom, among other duties.
The assistant superintendent, school operations and management, will be Daniel Smith, former principal of Locust Fork High School. He will provide general administrative support to the superintendent, supervise the central office staff, assist in developing program and personnel budgets, handle human resource matters, and coordinate transportation and maintenance operations, among other duties.
“This will help us become more efficient, and handle more tasks to a higher level of thoroughness and completion,” Green said.
The Blount Countian asked Green a broad question regarding his priorities as he assumes responsibilities of managing the 900-employee, 8000-student, $65- 70 million annual budget county system.
What are your immediate top priorities as you come into the office as superintendent?
“My biggest immediate challenge is to take the system through a smooth transition,” Green said. “Besides a new superintendent, our system has three new principals and five new assistant principals.”
Green said that beyond the transition, he has three primary goals:
• Update and extend technology in the classroom and expand infrastructure and wireless capacity. One mechanism to do that will be the “Bring Your Own Device” program which will allow students to bring their own devices such as Smartphones into the classroom to use for instructional purposes (only).“This gives us a way of getting technology into the classroom that we just can’t afford to get there any other way,” Green said. “It can work. It has to be managed carefully, but I’ve visited a number of other schools that are doing it, and it can work.”
• Implement the new national teaching emphasis that is at the heart of providing students with basic real-world job skills: communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.
• Enhance and expand career tech education.“We have 600 students at the Career Tech Center now,” he said. “This is the direction we’ve got to go. This is what my passion is,” Green said. “I want to give students hope for the future, and the skills and confidence to realize it. That’s what this system gave me when I was growing up, and I want to give it back. I want kids to learn to work, to have hope for a bright future, and develop the skills to succeed.”
Green said that the system overlay to these three specific goals is threefold:
• college and/or career readiness for every student
• commitment to continuous improvement
• providing a positive, collaborative, and safe learning culture
Taken together they translate to the system’s over-reaching imperative: “Every child a graduate. Every child prepared.”
Other board-approved personnel changes
• Move Suzette Johnson from elementary principal to middle school assistant principal at Hayden Middle, effective July 20.
• Move Rebecca Lary from elementary counselor to middle school counselor at Hayden Middle, effective July 27.
• Accept retirement resignation of Nancy Lemmond, special education instructional aide at Hayden Elementary, effective July 1.
• Accept resignation of Esperanza Lopez, English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Susan Moore High, effective June 19.
• Accept resignation of Kelly Matson, math teach at Locust Fork High, effective June 17.
• Accept resignation of Kimberly Osborn, elementary teacher at Appalachian, effective June 16.
• Accept resignation of Brittany Owens, teacher at Susan Moore High, effective June 9.
• Employ Crystal Lynn Sharp as English language arts teacher at Appalachian, effective August 3.
• Transfer Joseph Neal Whited from physical education/health/driver education teacher to assistant principal at Appalachian, effective July 20.
• Transfer Conny Wayne Lowery from math teacher to assistant principal at Cleveland High, effective July 20.
• Employ Natalie Hamrick as elementary teacher at Hayden Elementary, effective Aug. 3.
• Employ Brittany Shea Etheredge as special education teacher at Hayden Middle, effective Aug. 3, contingent on certification.
• Employ Amanda Hicks as elementary teacher at Hayden Middle, effective Aug. 3.
• Employ Emily Storey as middle/secondary math teacher at Hayden Middle, effective, Aug. 3.
• Employ Mary Katelyn England as secondary math teacher at Southeastern, effective Aug. 3.
• Employ James Corey Evans as secondary social science teacher at Southeastern, effective Aug. 3.
• Employ Melisa Kay Wadsworth as a child nutrition program employee at Southeastern, effective July 30, contingent on background clearance.
• Employ David Adam Wilson as physical education teacher with head varsity boys basketball coaching duties at Susan Moore High, effective Aug. 3, contingent on certification.
• Transfer Karen Hollingsworth from special education records clerk to special education secretary, effective July 1.
• Employ Hollie Bates Alldredge as speech language pathologist for Blount County schools, effective Aug. 3.
• Transfer Stephen Skillman from technology technician to network technician, effective July 1.
• Employ Alan Conaway and Jason Tidwell to assist with Cleveland High’s summer band camp.
• Employ Brianna McGill as school bus aide for the Blount County Learning Center, effective Aug. 4.
• Employ Tony Quinn as utility school bus driver, effective Aug. 4.
• Employ Kaitlyn Walker and Amy Hagler to work with the Susan Moore High Band during the summer, to be paid from local funds.
• Employ Amy Wilemon for the 2015 summer school/credit recovery program for additional mathematics instructional support for up to seven days, based on need.
• Approve Rebekah Holland and Cara Mason for a professional learning stipend for the summer social studies academy
• Approve Sheridan Miller as camp assistant for Once Upon a Time at Hayden Elementary School.
• Approved following as school technology coaches for 2016-2016 at a rate of $125 per month: Lisa Whittington, Courtney Whitehead, Angela Beasley, Tammy Thigpen, Jennifer Peterson, Monica Moorer, Casondra Edwards, Rebecca Maniscalco, Wendi Smith, Vicki Wallis, Greg Neill, Marla Hitt, Sonja Shivers, and Katrina Jennings.
• Grant medical leave of absence to Joey Saye, diesel technician for the transportation department, beginning June 9 and ending July 31, or upon physician’s release, whichever comes first.
• Nominated Eugene Horsley as member of the Blount County Board of Equalization.