Base salary of $105K offered to new Hawkins director of schools

Jeff Bobo • Nov 10, 2018 at 7:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The new Hawkins County director of schools will receive an annual base salary of $105,000 plus $8,000 for moving expenses and other allowances, according to a 3 1/2 year contract approved by the Board of Education Thursday.

Matt Hixson, an assistant superintendent from California, was chosen by the BOE last month from among 18 applicants and six interviewed finalists to be the county’s next director of schools.

The contract approved Thursday takes affect Jan. 1, with Hixson’s first day on the job being Jan. 2, and expires June 30, 2022.

Aside from the $105,000 annual salary and one-time $8,000 stipend for moving expenses, Hixson will receive $600 per month for a car allowance and a $1,000 annual stipend from the state to be the CEO of the school system.

That brings his salary to $113,200, not including health insurance and retirement benefits.

Board Vice Chairman Debbie Shedden said Thursday that the contract was presented to Hixson verbally, and he agreed to the terms.

That same day, however, the board approved the contract with two amendments related to the moving expenses.

One amendment states that if Hixson leaves the director position within one year, either voluntarily, or for cause, 100 percent of all relocation funds will be immediately repaid to Hawkins County Schools.

If Hixson’s employment terminates before his contract expires, either voluntarily, or for cause, he will reimburse the moving expenses on a prorated basis. For example, if he leaves exactly halfway through the period of the contract, he would owe the BOE 50 percent of the moving expenses.

The contract was approved unanimously by the board.

Following the vote, BOE Chairman Bob Larkins said, “We’ve got an excellent candidate coming in, and it’s exciting to open a new chapter for Hawkins County Schools.”

Hixson achieved a score of 626 out of a possible 700 during his initial Oct. 12 interview with the BOE. That was almost 100 points higher than the next highest scoring candidate.

Hixson, the current assistant director of the San Jacinto, California, school system was approved by the BOE 7-0 last month after the two finalists were interviewed.

He will succeed Steve Starnes, who served as Hawkins County Schools director from 2014 until this past June, when accepted the position of director of the Greeneville school system.


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