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School Board appoints committee to review superintenden’t contract

By Bill Short

Millington Schools logoThe Millington School Board has approved the appointment of a committee to review the contract of Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the municipal school system.
Board members took the action during their March 7 regular monthly meeting by a 6-1 vote, with board Vice Chairman Greg Ritter dissenting.
The committee, appointed by board Chairman Cody Childress, will consist of board members Don Holsinger, Larry Jackson and Ritter. Jackson will serve as its chairman.
Stephen Shields, the board’s attorney, will assist with any areas that the committee considers necessary.
Roper’s current contract expires on June 30, 2017.
Childress said Tennessee law prohibits school boards from entering into or renewing a superintendent’s contract within 45 days before or 30 days after a board election.
“That election will be in November,” he noted, “so we’re way ahead of that. We won’t even come close to it.”
State law also requires the board to provide 15 calendar days’ public notice of the date, time and place of the meeting where it will consider and vote on Roper’s contract.
Childress said the committee will present its recommendations for or against renewal at the board’s April 4 meeting.
It will also collect and score a “perception survey” that the board approved at its March 7 meeting. Childress said it will be an “anonymous” survey that is open to the public.
“It’s not just for people inside the school system,” he noted. “Everybody in the community will have the opportunity to put down your thoughts and recommendations.”
At the board’s May 2 meeting, the committee will present a report of the survey results, which will be used to evaluate the school system, its administration and the board.
Childress noted that the board members can use this information to help prepare their own evaluation of Roper. The board will use an evaluation form it approved in December 2015 that was prepared by the Tennessee School Boards Association for the current academic year.
That evaluation will be due on May 19.
If the committee chooses to do so, Childress said, it can use an “independent source” to collect the survey. Then, the results must be reported to the board no later than June 2.
Because Roper’s contract specifies that the evaluation must be completed on or before June 15, Childress said the board will deliver the results to the superintendent on June 6.
During discussion shortly before the vote, Ritter said he thinks the April 4 deadline for the committee’s recommendation is “premature,” because it comes before Roper’s evaluation for the year.
“I think the board ought to have the opportunity to do its evaluation prior to having that discussion,” he concluded.

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March 2016
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