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Search for director officially begins; Community asked to fill out online survey

The search is now on for a new director of schools for Unicoi County.
The Unicoi County Board of Education announced they were accepting applications for a new Director of Schools on Friday, Feb. 27, on the school system’s website.
According to the release posted, any potential candidate must have teaching experience and principal or supervisory experience.
An application can be picked up at the Unicoi County Board of Education’s office in Erwin or downloaded from the school system’s website. Candidates are asked to submit the application along with a formal letter of interest, a current resume including accomplishments by position, a copy of their Tennessee license and certifications, university transcripts and five professional references, according to the release posted.
All applications and other items will be accepted until March 27.
The release will be featured in the coming days in newspapers and other online sites, Board of Education Chairwoman Cathy Thomas said during a special school board meeting held on Thursday, Feb. 26, to discuss the procedures of selecting a new director.
During Thursday’s meeting, board members agreed to conduct their own search for a new director by following school board policy already in place.
The policy mentions that candidates are to be interviewed by board members in an open session and a two-thirds vote is required for the selection of a new director.
Also during the meeting, board members agreed to involve the community in the search, which is also outlined in Policy 5.801. A survey was posted online on the school system’s website on March 2 for members of the community to fill out to share their thoughts on the potential new director. The system’s website is www.unicoischools.com.
The survey includes a contact information portion, which is optional, and allows individuals to rate the importance on qualities a future director needs, on a scale of 1-9.
All this stems from the Jan. 8 meeting where current Director of Schools Denise Brown did not have her contract renewed following a 3-3 vote. Brown was in need of a majority vote to keep the position.
Brown recently sent a letter to the Board of Education asking to be bought out of her contract.
During a work session of the board on Feb. 20, members announced they would vote on the buyout during the Feb. 26 meeting. However, as member Garland “Bubba” Evenly explained Thursday, a 15-day public notice must be released prior to the meeting before the board can consider buying out Brown’s contract.
The current contract expiration date is set for June 30 but the board will consider the buyout request at their next scheduled meeting on March 12.
Following the consideration of Brown’s request, the board will then take steps toward a decision on whether or not to appoint an interim director.