Vicki Beaty became the first female chair of the Bradley County Board of Education on Thursday.
Beaty was chosen in a 4-3 vote over fellow nominee Rodney Dillard.
“I believe that Ms. Beaty is now the first woman to be elected chairperson for Bradley County Schools,” said Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel.
Board member Nicholas Lillios was selected as vice chairman. Board member Chris Turner will serve as the board’s representative to the Tennessee Legislative Network. Each was the only nomination for these positions.
McDaniel and Beaty thanked last year’s chairman Charlie Rose for his service.
“I would like to express my appreciation for Charlie Rose for his two years of outstanding service as the board chairman. I know it took a great deal of his personal time, but I also know how many people have benefitted because of Charlie,” Beaty said.
As part of its goal to be recognized as a Tennessee School Board Association Board of Distinction, the board was evaluated by three members of other school boards during the meeting.
Another goal of the board, to have an annual report distributed to the public, was also discussed. McDaniel presented a sample of the publication.
Board member Christy Critchfield said she was pleased with the potential report. Turner said he would like to see larger photos and to have the information reflect the goals of the school board, not just important information about the school system. McDaniel said Bradley County Trustee Mike Smith has agreed to include the newsletter in the tax bills he sends out.
The board also considered adding an additional year to the director of schools contract. State law allows the contract to be extended an additional year on a yearly basis, with the total contract not to exceed four years. The board voted 4-3 against adding an additional year to the contract. School boards are required to re-evaluate the contract one year before the director’s contract expires.
Turner said the decision had nothing to do with McDaniel.
“I can’t support extension of a contract this board does not follow. We have not established written goals and written measures (as outlined in the contract),” Turner said.
Board member Troy Weathers was in favor of extending the contract.
“I belive when we do not extend his contract, we are sending a message out that he is available for employment, that we have lost confidence in him,” Weathers said.
He said extension of the contract is a “vote of confidence” for the director.
“He has done everything we have asked him to do,” Weathers said.
Turner said confidence in the director was expressed during the evaluation process earlier in the year.
“We appreciate what our director does,” Turner said
Contract extensions should be used when directors are working to make major changes to improve the school system, Turner said. He asked that specific goals be set along with any contract extension.
There are three years left in McDaniel’s contract.
Contracts for extended services were approved during the meeting. These contracts pay staff to provide remediation, enrichment, programs for at-risk youth and other extracurricular activities.
Supervisor of secondary education Dan Glasscock said there are 41.75 contracts for the 2013-14 school year. He said 11.75 of the contracts were carried over from last year. Last year, teachers worked 5,000 hours through extended contracts.