Director of Schools contract pre-approved at May meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2022

One of the biggest pieces of hiring a Director of School for Carter County had been completed before the interview process even began.

In the May 16 meeting, the Carter County Board of Education approved using the same contract terms as those in place for outgoing director Dr. Tracy

“Board member Danny Ward made a motion at the first of the meeting on May 16 to approve the identical contract for the new director to be the same as the one we had in place for Dr. McAbee,” said school board chairman Tony Garland. “That contract consisted of an (annual) salary of $96,000 and a four-year contract plus benefits.”

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The contract also had stipulations for a cell phone and a car allowance.

Brandon Carpenter was selected as the new Director of Schools on June 9 and will begin his new job on July 1. He previously was the principal of Hampton Elementary School and head coach of the Hampton Lady Bulldogs.

Whether he continues to coach is unresolved.

Board member Chris Hitechew questioned whether Carpenter could continue as head basketball coach in the new role. “I feel the job of a director is such a magnitude that coaching would deter from that,” said Hitechew. “The board would have to vote on allowing him to continue to coach.”

Board members Kelly Crain and Keith Bowers disagreed as Crain said, “That is absolutely ridiculous”.

On Monday, Crain said he had reached out to Ben Torres, the lawyer at Tennessee School Boards Association, for clarification.

“I asked him if there was a policy on record of someone coaching basketball such as a principal or director of schools and he said there is no policy there,” Crain said. “He said that is a big job and it is adding another aspect to the job, but if (Carpenter) can do it and it doesn’t affect his daytime job, then it’s up to him.”

If Carpenter decides to coach, there is no extra stipend as coaching would be considered extra-curricular activity according to Crain. The decision of whether Carpenter will coach will be his decision to make.

Crain added that with the TSSAA dead period coming up where there can be no activities for school athletes that Carpenter will have some time to consider what he wanted to do moving forward.

Garland said in his personal opinion, “I don’t have a problem with it” in regard to the coaching issue.