First Cut,
Final Five

The first cut of those applicants for the director of schools has been presented to school board members.

The board had contracted TSBA, Tennessee School Board Association, to administer the first portion of the process which consisted of advertising the job, receiving applications, making the necessary background checks and presenting their top five applicants to the board.

TSBA attorney, Randy Bennett, presented their top five candidates at a special called meeting of the board Monday night. Bennett told board members his organization had researched all sixteen applicants and felt these five best represented the qualities the board had said they were looking for. Those five are as follows,

Loudon County Director of Schools Top Five Candidate List
Candidates Current Position Current Location
Mr. Michael D. Lupo Superintendent; Marion School District One and Two Marion, SC
Mr. Jason W. Vance Assistant Director of Schools, Loudon County Schools Madisonville, TN
Dr. Gerald G. Miller Principal, Nolachuckey School, Greene County Schools Greeneville, TN
Mr. Henry Baggett Director of Schools, Oneida Special School District Oneida, TN
Mr. Keevin Woody Principle, Midway Elementary School, Kingston, TN Kingston, TN

The board will have a special called meeting Thursday to vote on the list. At that meeting the board could still add or remove any names to the list.

Five finalists named for Loudon County school chief position

By Hugh G. Willett
LOUDON — The Loudon County board of education has narrowed the field to five candidates in the search for a new schools director.

After reviewing 16 resumes from candidates both inside and outside the system, the Tennessee School Board Association, which was contracted to help Loudon County select candidates, sent out letters this week to five finalists.

“We think if you interview these five candidates you’re going to find more than one good candidate,” said Randall Bennett, executive director of the state association.

Bennett presented the five candidates’ resumes at a board of education workshop Monday night.

The finalists are:

-- Michael D. Lupo, superintendent in Marion, S.C.

-- Henry Baggett, director of schools in Oneida, Tenn.

-- Jason Vance, assistant director of schools in Loudon County.

-- Gerald Miller, principal of Nolachuckey School in Greene County, Tenn.

-- Keevin Woody, principal of Midway Elementary School in Roane County.

Board of education members will meet Thursday night to vote on accepting the list of finalists. At that time the board may also vote to add candidates to the list. Candidates would be interviewed on April 15, and possibly April 16 if necessary.

Board members will meet April 18 to vote on the candidates and, following a process that could be quick or long, a new schools director will be chosen.

Board member Bobby Johnson Jr. said he was worried about getting a two-thirds majority vote on a single candidate.

The board had previously agreed that a two-thirds majority would be necessary.

Bennett pointed out that the state law requires only a simple majority, which would be six votes out of 10.

“I’d much rather see a candidate get seven votes,” he said.