Vance Takes Helm

Loudon County assistant director of schools, Jason Vance, was tapped Monday night to become the new superintendent of schools. Vance was one of the top five candidates of a field of sixteen. Board members held interviews last Friday of those five candidates. 

Board members met Monday to narrow the list to the top two finalist but after the board vote where Vance received ten votes from the board as the top with the second candidate receiving only five votes, board members went ahead and selected Vance by a unanimous  vote.

Jason Vance will officially assume the post July 1st 2011.

Jason Vance chosen as director of Loudon County schools

By Hugh G. Willett
LOUDON - The Loudon County board of education voted unanimously Monday to select Jason Vance as the new director of schools.

Vance, assistant schools director in Loudon, was the clear choice after a single round of voting in which the two leading candidates were selected. The board interviewed five candidates for the job Friday.

Board member Richard Best made the motion to move to a final decision after Vance received one vote from each board member in the first round.

Dr. Gerald Miller, principal at Nolachuckey School in Greene County, was second in the balloting.

Miller received five votes in the first round of voting.

"This is the first time in a long time that the board has voted unanimously on a serious matter," said board Chairman Scott Newman.

Other board members praised Vance for his leadership and agreed that the unanimous vote was an important milestone for a board that has often been divided.

"I really think Jason is going to be able to bring this board together," said board member Lisa Russell.

Board member Craig Simon said he was impressed with Vance has worked on difficult issues such as the school building program.

"He doesn't shy away from the tough issues, and he doesn't fold under pressure," Simon said.

Best, himself a career educator, said he was impressed with Vance's knowledge of the academic challenges facing the school system.

"He really did a stellar job during the interview process," Best said.

Vance, 34, holds an education specialist degree and a master's in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

A former principal at Loudon Elementary School, Vance has served as assistant director since 2009.

Educating the children of Loudon County will be his first priority, Vance said.

"That's really the most important part of this job," he said.

Not far down the list of his priorities will be the school budget and the long-awaited school building program, he said.

Newman said that Vance will be presented to the public at a "meet and greet" scheduled for 6 p.m. April 29, at the Technical Center on Harrison Road.

"It will be a chance for the public to meet Jason and ask any questions they would like," he said.

Following the event, the board will meet to discuss the specifics of the new director's contract, including salary, Newman said.

Vance is scheduled to take over for departing Director Wayne Honeycutt on July 1.