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Ailshie may be in line for extended contract

Rick Wagner • Mar 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM

KINGSPORT — The head of the city’s public school system may get a contract extension early next month, meaning he would be superintendent past March 2015.

The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education will consider the change to the terms of employment of Superintendent Lyle Ailshie at its regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 4.

The Board of Education voted Jan. 19, 2012, to hire Ailshie, and after his contract was worked out with the school board president, his first official day on the job was on March 21 of that year.

Tennessee law allows superintendents to have a maximum of four-year contracts, so the board could vote to extend the contract to a maximum of ending in the spring of 2017. Spokeswoman Andy True said he has seen or heard no indication of how long the proposed extension might be.

The regular BOE meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room at the Administrative Support Center, 400 Clinchfield St., third floor, downtown Kingsport. All board meetings are open to the public.

According to information from Kingsport City Schools, Ailshie was “instrumental in leading several system initiatives, including development of expanded technology, foreign language, dual credit and professional development offerings. He guided the system through the implementation process for school-based data analysis and priority setting, and providing leadership and oversight for facility projects totaling over $35 million.”

Ailshie also is a past president of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents and was the 2005 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.

Ailshie led the Greeneville system for 11 years and worked another six there as an assistant superintendent.

He received his doctorate of education in 1996 and master’s of arts in teaching in 1984 from East Tennessee State University. He completed a bachelor’s of science in sociology from Francis Marion College in Florence, S.C., in 1981.

The board hired a consultant to do a “directed search” for the replacement for retired Superintendent Richard Kitzmiller. The position was not advertised, but consultant Wayne Qualls contacted potential candidates he found or knew. Qualls looked at 37 different people and talked to 25, BOE Chairman Randy Montgomery said, and after that Montgomery said the board talked with “two or three.”

A Greeneville native who grew up in Greeneville and Mullins, S.C., Ailshie was an assistant principal at Morristown-Hamblen High School West and was a principal, teacher and coach at the K-8 Bulls Gap School in Hawkins County before that.

Ailshie is the 11th permanent superintendent to head the city school system if interim Superintendent Dewain Arnold is included as No. 10. Kitzmiller, who became interim superintendent and then permanent superintendent in 2002, was No. 9.

Ailshie, his wife and their seventh-grade daughter, a student at Robinson Middle School, live in Kingsport. The couple have two other daughters — one in college at the University of Tennessee and one a veterinarian in Greeneville — and a grandchild.

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