Knox County school board candidates interview for vacant seat

Knox County school board candidates interview for vacant seat

Posted:
Knox County Commission heard from interested candidates for the vacant Board of Education District 2 seat during Monday's work session. Knox County Commission heard from interested candidates for the vacant Board of Education District 2 seat during Monday's work session.
Candidate Juanita Cannon, who has worked as a teacher and a principal, was first to speak to commission.  She said she only planned to serve for the interim period if appointed and would not run in the November special election. Candidate Juanita Cannon, who has worked as a teacher and a principal, was first to speak to commission. She said she only planned to serve for the interim period if appointed and would not run in the November special election.
Candidate Charlotte Dorsey is a retired Knox County Schools administrator and ran for school board in 2010. Candidate Charlotte Dorsey is a retired Knox County Schools administrator and ran for school board in 2010.
Candidate John Fugate II has worked as a vice president for Commercial Bank and worked as a principal and coach in Hancock and Claiborne counties. Candidate John Fugate II has worked as a vice president for Commercial Bank and worked as a principal and coach in Hancock and Claiborne counties.
Candidate Rick Staples has worked in the Knox County Sheriff's Office and ran for City Council District 4. Candidate Rick Staples has worked in the Knox County Sheriff's Office and ran for City Council District 4.
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Commission heard from interested candidates for the vacant Board of Education District 2 seat during Monday's work session.

Previous story: Indya Kincannon stepping down from Knox County Board of Education

Commissioners asked the candidates questions including whether they would run in the November election, whether the superintendent should be appointed or elected and whether they would have renewed Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre's contract.

Candidate Juanita Cannon, who has worked as a teacher and a principal, was first to speak to commission.  She said she only planned to serve for the interim period if appointed and would not run in the November special election.

Candidate Charlotte Dorsey is a retired Knox County Schools administrator and ran for school board in 2010. Dorsey said she was undecided on whether she would run in the November election.

Cannon and Dorsey said they believe the superintendent should be an appointed position and not an elected one because they did not want the superintendent to focus on campaigning instead of education.

Dorsey said she would not have renewed McIntyre's contract because he already had several years left on the existing contract to allow board members to review his performance further without prematurely extending his time as superintendent.

Dorsey said it is “heartbreaking” to see teachers denigrated by evaluations.

Candidate John Fugate II has worked as a vice president for Commercial Bank and worked as a principal and coach in Hancock and Claiborne counties.

Fugate said the 5-year strategic plan should include a capital improvement plan for buildings and a plan to address the influx of immigrant children which he said burdens the school systems nationwide.

Fugate said he understood the reasoning for both sides of the issue when asked whether the superintendent should be elected or appointed.

Candidate Rick Staples has worked in the Knox County Sheriff's Office and ran for City Council District 4.

Staples said the current teacher evaluations are unfair and said he would vote against any more excessive testing.

Candidate Laura Kildare has worked as a classroom teacher in Knox County.

In her letter of interest to commissioners, Kildare wrote: “As an educational professional, I feel that my experience and expertise would be beneficial in discussions of the issues before the board.”

Candidate Elizabeth Lane wrote: “A strong commitment to education is the most fiscally responsible position that a community can take,” in her letter to commissioners.

Lane is a student at Pellissippi State Community College.

Candidate Diana Ray wrote: “As a parent of an incoming first grader as well as a former community development manager for the Girl Scouts, I have been very involved in the school system and find that the success of our schools becomes the success of our community.”

Candidate Jennifer Searle has worked as a clothing center board member for the Knox County Schools Clothing Center PTA and has served as a school volunteer.

Searle said she is not interested in running in the Nov. election and said she is “deeply invested in helping schools.”

Once the interviews concluded, Commissioner Amy Broyles said she has heard rumors that a “good ole boy” candidate would be selected, but she wanted to reassure her constituents that commission would make the best choice for the appointment saying the commission has an excellent track record of making appointments.

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