School Board grants 3 interviews

Strong and 2 others will vie 

for director job on March 22

By THOMAS P. WEAVER

HORIZON Editor

CELINA-Three director of schools applicants will receive interviews here at a special called meeting of the Clay County School Board on Thursday, March 22, according to information released along with a public notice of the meeting by the school system’s central office last Friday.

The board granted former lone finalist Jerry Strong; Maryville, TN native James Ratledge; and Darrell Treece of Columbia, KY interviews at last Thursday night’s regular monthly meeting.

A list of a seven applicants hoping to replace the retiring Donnie Cherry as the leader of education here in Clay County was narrowed to three at the meeting and board members then voted to set the interview date, which at that time was two weeks away.

The special called meeting is open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. here in the board room at 520 Brown Street.  The public notice of the meeting found on page 2 of this week’s HORIZON not only says “the board will conduct interviews,” but also says they will “consider hiring a director” at the meeting.

Cherry, who received a two-year extension in January of 2010 taking his current contract through June 30, 2012, is set to retire this spring after serving as a Clay County educator for nearly 40 years.

The board has been down this road before, but came to no end.

The first time around Ratledge and Treece were eliminated before interviews took place, and Strong couldn’t garner the required seven of 10 school board votes to take the job in the first try at filling the position.

Strong did receive six votes of support from the board the last time, but, without the seventh coming after multiple voting rounds, the deadlocked board voted to restart the hiring process from the beginning.

See a future HORIZON for more on this ongoing story.