Four appointed to committee looking at Kingsport, Sullivan County school facilities

Rick Wagner • Nov 17, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Local school officials have appointed four of five members to a committee looking at future use of select Sullivan County and Kingsport school facilities.

The city representatives — appointed by School Superintendent Richard Kitzmiller and Kingsport Board of Education President Susan Lodal with input from board members — are Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Damon Cathey, representing curriculum, and Director of Finance David Frye, representing facilities.

The county representatives — named by Director of Schools Jack Barnes and Sullivan County BOE Chairman Ron Smith with input from the board — are Assistant Director of Schools Gene Johnson, K-12 curriculum supervisor and curriculum representative, and Maintenance and Facilities Supervisor Joe Mike Akard, facilities representative.

The four will appoint a fifth outside member, likely after the Thanksgiving weekend, said city school system spokeswoman Amy Greear and county system spokeswoman Janie Barnes.

The five by February will make recommendations to the city and county school boards on how to best utilize school facilities in the city and county affected by Kingsport’s urban growth boundary, where the city can annex without the likelihood of a successful legal challenge.

County schools are projected to become increasingly under-capacity, while city schools are projected to become overcrowded without new buildings, additions or acquiring county school buildings.

The list of guiding principles for the committee, as adopted by the school boards in a joint meeting, are:

• Minimize students’ disruption.

• Manage operating and capital outlay for school facilities consistent with high-quality education.

• Maintain appropriate access for all students.

• Minimize negative impact on teachers’ ability to teach.

• Take into account personnel positions to the extent possible.

• Keep offices process effective and efficient for high-quality education.

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