Carter County School Board closer to naming new director of schools

Published 12:59 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Carter County School Board interviewed three finalists on Monday for the director of schools position.

Dr. Justin Barden, Dr. Brandon Carpenter, and Dr. Lance Myhan were each given 45 minutes to present opening remarks, answer questions from the BOE, and give a closing statement.

The final decision will be made on at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in a special called meeting prior to the June workshop. The candidates are vying for the position being vacated by Dr. Tracy McAbee.

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Barden said that he was looking forward to potentially “serving Carter County.”

“We will obviously invest in the community,” said Barden in reference to his four children who would be enrolling in the Carter County school system. “I appreciate the effort you are putting into this because it is never easy.”

Barden told the board that a comprehensive five-year plan would require a lot of listening: listening to the board, listening to the community, and listening to the teachers and administrators in what the next five years need to look like.

Carpenter, who currently serves as the principal at Hampton Elementary, was the second finalist to be interviewed.

In his opening remarks, Carpenter shared how he was a product of the Carter County School System.

“I have never apologized for being a product of this school system,” Carpenter said. “I have worked here my whole teaching and administrative career in three of the four districts. I have done pretty much everything you can do in a school system and I have done it well. The reason is the people of Carter County – the teachers, the parents, and the students – have trusted in me and as all of you know, the main thing in success in anything is trust and I think that I have that from my people.”

Myhan closed out the interview session.

“I have three kids and each one needs something different for success,” Myhan said. “All three need love and consistency and high expectations just like the kids here in Carter County. Together we are going to have to build the kids, we are going to have to build curriculum, we are going to build the community, and we are going to build the future. You name it and we are going to build it. We have to maintain it and improve it. That is the biggest room in the world – the room for improvement.”