General selected over McAbee, Brown to lead Hamblen County schools

Published 11:05 pm Thursday, April 14, 2022

Three candidates were interviewed last week for the position of Superintendent of Schools of Hamblen County including Carter County Director of Schools Dr. Tracy McAbee.
When the selection process took place, the school district implemented an emergency provision vote which ultimately led to the hiring of General Arnold Bunch Jr. to lead the school district as the next school superintendent.
McAbee and Russell County, Va., Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Brown were two of the three finalists.
The emergency provision suspended a policy that required candidates for the position to possess licensure, education and experience in the field of school administration.
According to the Hamblen County Citizen Tribune, opponents have expressed concern about Bunch’s lack of education credentials to lead the roughly 10,000 students and hundreds of teachers in the system. There was also frustration expressed that the school board had made the decision to suspend the qualification requirements so late in the process, thereby preventing other non-traditional candidates from throwing their hat into the ring.
The qualifications originally described by the Hamblen County Department of Education policies stated: candidates for director of schools are supposed to have, at minimum, a professional educator’s license; a master’s degree in education with a preference for a doctorate; three years of successful experience in school administration; and any other qualifications the Board deems desirable.

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