McAbee selected as new Director of Schools for Lewis County

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2022

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The Lewis County Board of Education recently voted 9-0 to hire Dr. Tracy McAbee as the new Director of Schools.

This was confirmed by Carter County School Board Chairman Tony Garland Tuesday morning.

McAbee was in the top three for the Hamblen County Director of School position in April before being selected for the Lewis County position on Tuesday evening.

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“He texted me late (Tuesday) night as evidently, Lewis County voted at their board meeting … so it is absolutely true,” said Garland. “I haven’t spoken to him so I do not know when he is leaving and I don’t know how much longer that we have got him but I am going to have a conversation with him later today.”

McAbee’s selection comes as the Carter County School System is deep in the process of deciding what to do with the $30 million Hunter School Project.

It also is during an election year which means that the Carter County Board of Education must respond quickly due to no business being able to be conducted 45 days before the August 4 General Election and 30 days afterward which puts the time frame around Sept. 1, 2022.

When McAbee was in the running for the Hamblen County position, Garland said, “We cannot dismiss a director or hire a director during that time period. We have a lot going on and you cannot have a vacated director’s seat period. We would have to name an interim director until at such time we go through a selection process to select someone because there are duties that only a director can do and a school system cannot be without one. We would either look for an internal person or bring a retired or former director in to hold the fort down until such a time one is named.”

When asked about what the board would do in regard to the school project, Garland said “we will continue on.”

“We can’t let anything drop; we have to keep moving forward,” said Garland. “It will create a little more hassle, but I don’t see it slowing anything down. I don’t want to.”

Garland added that he believes that the BOE needs to move quickly as the job of Director of Schools just doesn’t end when the school year does.

“I have already pulled the job posting back out from when he was in the running for the Hamblen County position,” Garland said. “I think that we need to move pretty quickly because there is a whole lot of things that happen in the summer that people don’t realize in regard to this position. I haven’t spoken with anyone on the board yet but will be doing so later.”

McAbee was unavailable for comment on Wednesday morning.

The Lewis County Schools Facebook page Wednesday indicated the Lewis County Board of Education will meet in a special called session at 6 p.m. May 17 at the Lewis County Board of Education board meeting room located at 206 South Court St., Hohenwald. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the contract details including the length of the newly elected director of school’s term.

This is a developing story and readers can check back for more information as it develops.