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English, Moorhouse chosen as finalists

Unicoi County Board of Education members have a plan in place in hopes of having a new diraector of schools by the middle of May.
The field of candidates applying for the superintendent job for the Unicoi County School System was trimmed down from nine to two during a work session held on Monday, April 13.
Of the nine, current county employee John English and former Morristown-Hamblen High School principal, Jeff Moorhouse, received the majority of support from the board members during the work session and were chosen as the two finalists for the position.
Interviews for both candidates will take place at the system’s central office on Saturday, April 25, and will be open to the public. English will be scheduled to interview at 9 a.m. and Moorhouse takes the 11 a.m. slot.
School board vice-chairman Tyler Engle led Monday’s work session and opened the floor for members to select their top prospects for the position.
The board of six went across the table with Steve Willis, Garland ‘Bubba’ Evely, Cathy Thomas and Ruth Gaines selecting English and Moorhouse. Lisa White provided three options, English, Bill Nuss and Mike Lamie. Engle chose English, Moorhouse and Randy Shannon, a veteran of the Benton County School System since 1993.
After discussions, the members agreed to cut the pool to English and Moorhouse due to majority ruling.
“We had a great group of candidates to select from,” Gaines said, “but all the people who contacted me, were in full support of these two candidates (English and Moorhouse). The survey we had online also showed the same thing.”
White also took the floor to give her support for English, citing his likeability, age and performance as director of federal programs in Unicoi County and head basketball coach at the high school as positive traits moving forward.
Engle also announced the steps going forward in the case of Moorhouse. The former Hamblen County employee is currently in the running for a position in the City of Greeneville. If Moorhouse was to receive the job in Greene County, the board decided that Shannon would be an alternate decision to take the place of Moorhouse.
“There needs to be two candidates,” Willis said. “If he were to receive another job opportunity, we need to have a plan in place.”
Engle also outlined the upcoming schedule for the board.
Following the interview process on April 25, the members will meet in their regularly scheduled work session set for May 4, followed by their school board meeting set for May 7 at 6 p.m.
The school board could choose the next director during the May 7 meeting. Evely stated the group can elect to make a motion, followed by a second in regards to selecting one of the two applicants. If the first applicant receives four votes, they’ll be in the spot to become the next superintendent. If the first applicant doesn’t receive the four votes, the board can select the next applicant, and go through procedure again.
“It’s been the standard form of procedure going forward and the way it has always been done,” Interim Director Tommy Clouse said.
During the May 4 work session meeting, members will also arrange a contract that will be presented to the new superintendent.
A new contract will feature differences from the contract of previous director of schools Denise Brown. The plan moving forward by the board will be for a contract to be ready for the May 7 meeting, allow the potential superintendent a week to go over the paperwork, then sign it in a called meeting, to be officially installed as the new superintendent.
Before the interviews, the school board began credit checks on both candidates as normal protocol. The group stated that if any issues arose during the next check on the two, another meeting would be called to make other plans.