ROGERSVILLE — One of the Tennessee School Board Association's five recommended finalists for the Hawkins County director of schools post was a former principal who was demoted from his position two years ago by current Director of Schools Charlotte Britton.
The Hawkins County Board of Education paid the TSBA $8,500 to conduct a search to find a replacement for Britton, who is retiring at the end of June.
On Tuesday, TSBA Deputy Director Randall Bennett presented the BOE with five recommended finalists to be interviewed.
Among those five was former Rogersville Middle School Principal Dr. William Royal, who was demoted to a teaching position at Clinch School following the 2011-12 school year.
Following a discussion, the BOE agree to remove Royal from the list of finalists and accept the other four finalists to be interviewed. The BOE also directed Bennett to recommend one more finalist.
The four finalists who were accepted include: Dixie Bowen, a supervisor from Bristol, Tenn. schools; Calvin Decker, Alternative School Principal in Hamblen County; Hawkins County Assistant Director Steve Starnes; and Hawkins County Attendance Supervisor Greg Sturgill.
Board Chairman Randy Collier said Royal might "look good on paper," but he couldn't recommend him as a director. Hawkins County Schools Personnel Director Nedra Jackson concurred with Collier's assessment.
Collier asked Bennett if he had interviewed Britton about Royal prior to selecting him as a finalist. Bennett said if the director had made any negative comments, Royal wouldn't have made the top five.
Britton wasn't in attendance for Tuesday's meeting, but she told the Times-News in 2012 she demoted Royal because, "I felt that it was in the best interest to make a change at the school."
Among the issues that came to light during Royal's time as RMS principal were allegations of cheating during state testing, numerous complaints from both school staff and parents and low scores on the state report card.
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