Tag Archives: superintendent

Most superintendents signing anti-Huffman letter represent small school systems

With a few notable exceptions, most school superintendents signing a letter critical of state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman that was sent to Gov. Haslam Wednesday represent schools in small towns or rural counties, according to a list released by the letter’s author.

Dan Lawson, the Tullahoma City Schools director who wrote the letter that has circulated among the state other 136 school superintendents since last week, provided a list of 56 names and said he was still trying to verify the signatures of five others, who were not put on the list.

Lawson’s letter, with the list of signatures, was sent to Haslam and all members of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Lawson said in an email. The governor earlier this week sent all the state’s school superintendents a letter of his own, declaring he was disappointed with the criticism of his appointee to lead the state’s education system but intends to meet with the superintendents and hear their concerns.

Lawson said he left the letter open for signatures a week to give superintendents a chance to add or delete their names – and some had done both. He declined to say what impact Haslam’s letter had.

“I didn’t ask for signatures, didn’t ask for reasons to sign or reasons that some wanted their names removed,” he said. “For me it was a matter of personal conviction.”

“… I am thankful that Gov. Haslam recognizes our concerns and I look forward to the establishment of effective dialogues to accomplish achieving the goals of school improvement in Tennessee,” Lawson said.

Of the state’s biggest urban systems, only Metro Nashville Superintendent Jesse Register signed the letter. Superintendents of Clarksville-Montgomery County schools, Washington County Schools and Jackson schools also signed, but most of the signing superintendents – like Lawson – represent smaller systems.

Lawson provided a list of names only. Matching the names on the list of a list of the state’s school superintendents, here’s a list of names that matched up:
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School Supe Convicted of Taking a Gun to School

SAVANNAH, Tenn. (AP) — A West Tennessee jury has found a school superintendent guilty of lesser charges after he carried a pistol into a middle school.
The Jackson Sun (http://bit.ly/LOweow ) reported Hardin County Director of Schools John Thomas was convicted Tuesday on a misdemeanor count of carrying a weapon in a school without intent to use it. Thomas will pay a $50 fine and have up to six months of probation.
Thomas’ attorney said that if the jury had convicted his client of the felony count he was indicted on, he would have been in violation of his employment contract.
School Board Chairman David Long said after the verdict came back that it was not an issue with the board.
County resident Jerry Fowler, who took the case to the grand jury after the local prosecutor declined to, said he was disappointed in the outcome, but satisfied that the issue came to public attention.

Former Education Commissioner Resigns as School Super

Fighting back tears, Cheatham County director of schools Tim Webb (who was state commissioner of education under former Gov. Phil Bredesen) told the school board Monday that he is stepping down, reports the Tennessean.
“I have taken all I can take,” said the former Tennessee commissioner of education, who apologized for being emotional.
Some board members said they would not accept his resignation, and an emergency board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at the Board Annex on Elizabeth Street in Ashland City.
Webb has made a number of changes in the Cheatham County district since taking office in November 2010, and some have been unpopular with the community. All principals and administrators had to reapply for their jobs this school year, and eight schools got new principals.
Webb dismissed some longtime employees and brought in people he had worked with elsewhere. In addition, changes were made in the school calendar, including the elimination of fall break and an abbreviated winter break. Support expressed Several board members expressed their support for Webb during Monday’s meeting before his announcement.