The Winner Is?

Lenoir City names new schools superintendent

By Hugh G. Willett

The Lenoir City school board has selected a new director of schools to replace Wayne Miller, who is stepping down from the post.

Jeanne Barker, currently associate director of the Lebanon (Tenn.) Special School District, will start her new job as director of the Lenoir City school system in early January.

Acceptance of the position is contingent upon contract negotiations that will be voted on at the next school board meeting.

Barker, who holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership, said she was honored to be joining the Lenoir City system. Her experience teaching and supervising in grades from pre-k through 12 will be a big advantage, she said.

"I already have experience providing support at all levels," she said.

Barker replaces Miller, who will be taking apposition in Nashville as head of the Tennessee School Director's Association.

She said she wants to continue the success Lenoir City schools have experienced under Miller, especially the excellent relationship with the school board.

Barker and Miller had worked together in the past on the development of the Teacher Instructional Growth for Effectiveness and Results teacher evaluation model. The TIGER model offers a more flexible alternative for teacher evaluation at a range of teaching levels, she said.

Also important to Barker is meeting the tougher new education standards.

"We have to move into the next level of expectations," she said.

Before Monday's meeting, the school board had narrowed its search to just two candidates: Barker and Donna Wright, former assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Knox County Schools who joined the Williamson County school system in Middle Tennessee as an assistant superintendent in July.

In addition to the school board, the selection process included committees of Lenoir City parents and teachers from the system's elementary, middle and high school.