On Wednesday, the Greeneville Board of Education voted 4-1 in favor of naming Starnes its new director, replacing Jeff Moorhouse, who was recently selected as Kingsport’s new director of schools.
Hawkins County Board of Education Chairman Bob Larkins told the Times-News Thursday that Starnes’ announcement triggers a lot of work ahead for the BOE in the next several weeks.
Not only is the board attempting to complete its 2018-19 budget in time to be considered at the June county commission meeting, the board will also be selecting an interim director to take the helm while the search for Starnes’ permanent replacement is underway.
“Mr. Starnes selection as director of schools for Greeneville City Schools is a bittersweet moment for Hawkins County,” Larkins said.
“Greeneville is fortunate to select a director with Mr Starnes’ ability, integrity, and professionalism and he will be sorely missed by his staff and the entire community. During Mr. Starnes four year tenure as our director, we saw graduation rates increase, ACT scores increase, Reward Schools recognition, Exemplary School District (recognition), School Board of the Year, and many more accomplishments.”
Larkin added, “We are very proud of Mr. Starnes and he will be very difficult to replace. However, when he shared with me that he had applied for the Greeneville position I knew that this is a career move, and he has to think about he and his family. I predict that Mr. Starnes will continue to rise to the top in education.”
Starnes leaves the Hawkins County School System, where he was not only educated as a youngster, but was employed for 30 years, including serving as director since 2014.
He is expected to take over in Greeneville on June 1.
“I am very thankful for my time as a student and my 30 years as an educator in the Hawkins County School System,” Starnes told the Times News Thursday. “I have had some exceptional experiences and developed many friendships throughout the years. I am especially appreciative of the opportunity to have served as the director of schools for the past four years. I want to thank the board for selecting me as director and for their support.”
He added, “I want to thank my staff, principals, teachers and all personnel for the job they do and the support they have shown me during my tenure in Hawkins County. I am forever indebted to them. The dedication of this team and support of the board has led to many significant accomplishments over the last four years.”