Headlee, Hemelright
Should Resign Now

The news from the December Loudon County Grand Jury was not good. Loudon County Director Of Schools, Edward Headlee and Loudon County Schools maintenance coordinator, Dave Hemelright came within one vote of being indicted for reckless endangerment. The near indictment stems from testimony before the Grand Jury in August by Loudon resident Joe Webb and members of the state Fire Marshals Office. 10 of 12 Grand Jurors after hearing the evidence voted for indictment.

Even with what has been described as a full on defense of the two by District Attorney, Russ Johnson, the Grand Jury still came with in one vote of indicting. Johnson himself has been accused of tampering with the life safety issues at Loudon High School by using his position as then State Representative, to get the fire marshals office to prematurely provide the approval that would allow the HVAC program to move forward. It was obvious from grand jury foreman Mark Carpenter's written statement that he wasn't entirely comfortable with the way the case had been handled.

GJ Foreman, Mark Carpenter

In September, Headlee and Hemelright dodged another bullet when the Loudon County Board Of Education held votes on both men's jobs. Both barely survived the votes to retain their positions.

Both Edward Headlee and Dave Hemelright are fine men. However it would be impossible not to realize that both have lost the confidence of the people they are paid to serve. Both men should realize that it would now be impossible for either of them to perform their duties in any effective manner.

Mr. Headlee is currently set to retire next June. But it would seem prudent to go ahead and step down now.
Mr. Hemelright is a very talented manager and coordinator in his own right, but the chemistry between Hemelright and the BOE and others has proven to be unproductive.

While many of the seemingly unending problems facing the Loudon County School System can be laid squarely at the feet of Mr. Headlee and Mr. Hemelright, there are others with the Loudon County Board Of Education who should give serious consideration as to whether their presence on the board is actually an asset or a liability for Loudon County Schools.