ROGERSVILLE - The Hawkins County Commission's Education Committee hopes to be able to recommend a new District 3 Board of Education member for consideration by the full County Commission in April.
Current District 3 school board member Randy Collier is in the process of moving to a larger home in the District 2 section of Surgoinsville. Collier told the Times-News Thursday night he will resign his BOE post around the first of April due to leaving his district.
The commission's Education Committee met jointly with the Hawkins County BOE Thursday. Committee Chairman Virgil Mallett asked the school board to compile a list of possible replacements for Collier to present for committee consideration.
Mallett told the board Thursday he will also ask District 3 Commissioners Danny Alvis, Charles Thacker and Phill Barrett to suggest names for a potential replacement.
The Education Committee will meet again before the April County Commission meeting to vote on a recommendation. Mallett noted, however, that the County Commission is not obligated to accept the committee's recommendation, and nominations can be made from the floor when the commission considers the matter.
Collier is currently in his sixth year on the school board. He was unable to attend Thursday's regular monthly BOE meeting due to a family obligation but told the Times-News afterward that his last meeting as a board member will be the March 13 special called meeting to interview applicants for director of schools and select a new director.
Collier said he regrets having to leave the school board, especially in this current time of transition when a new director will be taking over soon and the $30 million phase three building project is being planned.
But Collier said he recently adopted a child, increasing his family to four children, and he needed a larger home. Collier, who is employed as a detective with the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office, said he's in the process of moving to a home on Williams Road in Surgoinsville.
"We looked for a bigger place in District 3 and really couldn't find one that me and my wife agreed on," Collier said. "Finally we found one we could agree on in another district, and the owner accepted our offer."
Collier added, "I enjoyed my time on the board. It was a great learning experience, and I hope to run for school board again someday in my new district."
Collier said he's proud of the great improvements the Hawkins County School District has made during his time on the board, and he cites the selection of current Director of Schools Clayton Armstrong four years ago as the catalyst to much of that improvement.
Collier said he's also proud of the academic improvements that have been evident in recent years on the county's state report cards, as well as building improvements that have been accomplished during his six years.
"The board is also working really well with the County Commission now, which wasn't really the case when I got elected," Collier said. "The board has come together as a team to accomplish a lot of things. I just hate to leave at this point because I know the system has a hard road ahead.
"Money is going to be short, and we've got all these building projects coming up."
In other business Thursday, the BOE agreed to change its meeting date next month from April 12 to April 5. Board Chairman Robert Stidham explained that notice must be given to teachers in April whether or not they will be retained for the next year and if eligible teachers will receive tenure.
Those decisions are approved by the board in April. Stidham noted that the board regularly moves the April meeting date up a week to give teachers the earliest possible notice of the board's decision.
The school board also agreed to cancel its March 15 special called meeting in which it was going to vote on the new director of schools.
The board had also scheduled a March 13 morning meeting to interview its two remaining applicants, Charlotte Britton and Ray Hatfield. After the March 13 interviews, the board will break for 30 minutes and then reconvene to make its final decision.