Alexander plans January retirement

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014


After more than eight years in the superintendent’s seat, Ed Alexander announced Monday that he will retire as director of the Elizabethton City School system effective Jan. 5.
“This notice should give our board ample opportunity to find a replacement,” he said at Monday’s school board meeting.
Alexander has worked in the ECS for 39 years, serving as a teacher, principal, administrator and then director of the school system. The school board named him interim superintendent in October 2006, later giving him the permanent position.
“Serving in this position for almost nine years is a long time,” Alexander said. “I think the regular tenure for this job is around three years.”
Alexander said the school system is in better shape today than it was eight years ago. He said the system is on better financial footing, with an undesignated fund balance that has grown from $71,853 in 2006 to $1,031,470 today.
“This growth was accomplished during the great recession,” Alexander said. “This is due to the efforts of our finance department, supervisors, school bookkeepers and principals.”
“I want people to look at the system now, and it is because of people who have been placed in those roles that we are successful,” he said. “I am proud of that success. It has been difficult and unpleasant at times, but it has been rewarding as well. Seeing people do well has always been my goal.”
Alexander said “constant criticism” from “two board members and a few people in the community” over some school system expenditures had bothered him.
“Those criticisms are an absolute insult to our finance department, school principals, school bookkeepers, supervisors, the majority of the board and me,” he said.
Alexander said his retirement would also not allow a school board candidate to use his record to gain a seat on the board of education.
He cited a recent political ad that claims he ignored the importance of fine arts and computer support to get more Basic Education Program funding. Without the additional funding from enrollment growth, the system would be $4 million in debt, he said.
“Those who have been critical of me have no idea who I am, what I have done, or not done, as an employee of the Elizabethton City Schools for the last 39 years,” he said. “But, I can assure all for whom I am responsible that I have worked hard as I could and been absolutely honest in all my actions.”
He said he timed his retirement announcement in a way that would let the school board find a replacement and let that person have a few months on the job to acclimate before having to deal with the start of the new school year.
After his retirement, Alexander said he plans to stay in Elizabethton.
“I have lived in Elizabethton, with the exception of the two years while I was in the service, all my life,” he said. “I can tell you that I intend to remain a part of this community for as long as I live.”

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