BY DAVID FISHER
The purpose of a called meeting of the Weakley County School Board on Jan. 26, 2023, was to begin the search process for a director of schools.
The need to fill the position was necessitated by the recent announcement that Randy Frazier, who serves as the current director, is retiring.
The board members agreed that the current search criteria document, as well as the application, need to be modified. Once changes are made, the criteria for hiring a new director of schools will be brought before the school board for its consideration at its next regular meeting on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
In order to solicit for applications, the board discussed different ways to advertise with local and regional colleges, media, TSBA, TOSS, KSBA, and COSBA.
There was also a discussion about reaching out to candidates that may have an interest in applying. It was stated that it could be allowed, as long as everything with the process is documented and public knowledge.
School Board Chairman Steve Vantrease talked about different types of community engagement. He mentioned speaking with school system employees to keep them informed concerning the changes and allowing them to have input, as well.
Vantrease mentioned having the different communities in Weakley County talk about what they’re looking for in a candidate to fill the position.
“County Commissioners need to be engaged and fully aware of what we’re doing,” Vantrease said.
He also talked about ways to get community engagement from different towns, including having open sessions with the people. The board could ask questions regarding their ideas for the schools in the county. Also, time could be set aside to allow citizens to provide their input at board meetings, providing they are on the agenda. According to school board policy, community input at regular or called meetings requires written notice five days in advance. Those wishing to speak would have three-to-five minutes to address the board and express their viewpoints concerning the hiring of a new director of schools.
“This will need to be done before we do serious deliberations,” Vantrease said. “This would also include our staff at the schools.”
The other board members agreed that this is a good idea, and needed for the process of choosing a new director.
The timeline is as follows:
- Feb. 2 – Application approved to the public;
- March 10 – Application deadline;
- Interviews will begin after March 10;
- The board agreed to amend the timeline as needed, once the process starts.
The school board meets in regular session on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Martin Elementary School.