By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
At the tail-end of a special-called meeting of the Knox County Board of Education Thursday, board members unanimously voted to go into executive session.
According to Frank Shelton, public relations director for Knox County Schools, it’s the next step in naming the school system’s new superintendent.
“The Screening Committee is meeting with board members,” he said, adding the top six applicants for the position would be recommended Thursday night.
It was unknown how many applicants that were received, but the deadline for applications was June 28.
“Board members may then ask questions concerning the candidates and why those six,” Shelton said.
Once that part of the executive session was complete, the screening committee was dismissed from the closed meeting, according to Shelton.
The Screening Committee’s members are Sam Watts, BOE vice-chair and board representative, Charles Hill, principal representative, Elizabeth Jean Bingham and Lee Edward Campbell, certified employee representatives, Dallas Mills Jr., classified employee representative, and David Barnard, parent representative.
The next part of the executive session concerned a discussion between board members and Tim Eaton, a representative with the Kentucky School Board Association.
Shelton said that Eaton was contracted by the board of education and is on hand to assist in the superintendent selection and hiring process.
“There will be no decision tonight,” Shelton said Thursday.
According to the schedule set for hiring a new superintendent, the interview process begins today.
On Aug. 27, a new superintendent could be named, although Shelton stressed that was a tentative date.
Currently, Ralph Hoskins holds the position of interim superintendent. Former superintendent Walter Hulett announced his retirement from the job in April.
In other board business this week:
— Board members unanimously agreed to have 15 full-time substitute teacher positions filled for the school system. According to Shelton, those hired into these jobs would “be involved in professional development opportunities.”
They would be able to substitute for any classroom in most any subject, he explained.
Shelton also said board members agreed to lift a hiring freeze instituted by the board so Hoskins could hire employees into vacant positions. Shelton said 12 positions previously purposely left empty will now be reinstituted and filled. “It will help with class sizes and general enrollment,” Shelton said.
— Board members agreed to purchase the sliver of property between Lynn Camp Elementary School and Lynn Camp High School.
Shelton said the property houses a barn, and the plan is to have beef cattle production with the agricultural department and make the area a type of “outdoor classroom.”
Shelton added that once board members approved the minutes from their Tuesday regular board meeting, the purchase was official.
An official dedication is planned, but a date has yet to be announced.
— A discussion and possible decision on the District Wide Fee Schedule for students entering various schools was slated for Thursday’s meeting. Board member Merrill Smith wanted to table the issue, as several of the same fees vary depending on the school.
However, board members learned that the next meeting is actually after the start of the new school year — so instead the board unanimously agreed to allow Hoskins and the schools’ principals to level out the playing field with school fees and for Hoskins to then implement said fees.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is slated for Aug. 27.
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
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