School board to consider six candidates for superintendent

Published 10:06 am Friday, April 17, 2015

The Elizabethton Board of Education has decided to proceed with their search for a new superintendent without seeking additional applicants for the position.

The group will review six applications as they move forward with the process. The board had originally received seven applications by the end of March but one candidate decided to withdraw.

– Current interim superintendent Corey Gardenhour. Gardenhour has worked with the ECS since 2006, starting as principal of West Side Elementary.
– Thomas H. Graves, Abingdon, Va. For the past four months Graves has worked as a supervisor at Secor Inc. in Lebanon, Va.
– Jeanne Catherine Halford, Elizabethton. Most recently, Halford worked as an instructor in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in Charlotte, N.C. from 2013-2015.
– Myles Joseph Hebrard, Powell, Tenn. Hebrard is currently the principal of Claxton Elementary School in Anderson County, where he has served since 2008.
– Blair Ferrell Henley, Bristol.
Henley has served as vice-president of information services/chief technology officer at Tusculum College since June 2011 and as director of technology for the Niswonger Foundation’s Northeast College and Career Ready Consortium since 2010.
– Janell S. Wells, Elizabethton. Wells currently works as a substitute teacher with the Bristol City Schools and Carter County Schools.

After receiving those resumes at the last workshop on April 6, the board agreed to take some time to review those submitted and decide if other resumes are needed.

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“Are we happy with the applicants we have received?” chairwoman Rita Booher asked. “Do we think we have received the quality of applicants we need to find the right person for this job?”

School board member Susan Peters said the six applicants for the job are “more than qualified” to take over the position.

Other school board members agreed with her assessment.

“I am not sure what we hope to gain by continuing the process,” board member Tyler Fleming said. “We had the application process open for six weeks.”

He suggested the board should continue to accept any resumes that come in until the interview process starts.

Board member Phil Isaacs said he feels it is time for the board to move ahead in the search process.

“The applicants we have are well qualified and I am ready to move forward with this,” he said.

Booher advised the board members to be thinking about who they wanted to interview for the job of superintendent. The board meets again in a workshop on Monday at 6:30 p.m. She said they should be prepared to decide who they want to contact and to start developing a list of questions to be asked in the interviews.

Peters suggested members of the board select their top three candidates to bring to the workshop with the interviewees chosen from those. Fleming said the board should interview at least three candidates and the others agreed.

“It is a testament to our school system, the quality of individuals we have who wanted to apply here,” Booher said.