The Giles County Board of Education chose Dr. Vickie Beard to be its next Director of Schools last week during its monthly meeting, which was held via video conferencing.
Beard has been serving as Acting Director of Schools since last June when it was determined that then-Director of Schools Phillip Wright would be unable to return to work for an extended time due to injuries he suffered in a fall at the Central Office in March of last year.
A search process approved by the board earlier this year resulted in six applicants for the Director of Schools position. The applicants were Roger Alsup of Winchester, Beard, John William Gunn of Dickson, Myles Hebrard of Powell, Paul Rockhold of Hobbs, N.M., and Cindy Young of Giles County.
The board had the option last week to nominate up to three of the applicants for interviews. However, Beard was the only candidate to receive a nomination and was chosen unanimously by a vote of all seven board members.
To follow through with the interview portion of the search process, Beard will describe to the board her vision for the future of Giles County Schools. That vision statement is scheduled to take place at the school board’s April 16 work session, which is scheduled by video conference at 5 p.m.
The board is expected to offer Beard a contract at its May meeting. Should they fail to come to an agreement, the board could then go back to the other candidates, or start a new search process.
Beard gave an update on how the school system is urging parents and students to continue their education efforts during the COVID-19 closures.
“It’s very important that we are trying to educate our children from a distance learning perspective right now,” Beard said. “It’s not safe for our students to come to the schools to pick up work or to pick up Chromebooks or things of that nature. So, we’ve put out as many resources as we possibly can, online for those who have access to that. We’re trying as best we can to get them the necessary resources.
“We encourage everyone to stay at home and work from home as much as they can right now,” she said, adding that materials and information can be found at gcboe.us as well each individual school’s websites and Facebook pages. “Teachers are also going to be reaching out to students just to connect with them and communicate with them,” Beard said. “We’ve had teachers doing that and we’re encouraging that continue because the social and emotional part of being in school is missing right now.”
The school system will continue to feed children at the elementary schools, Beard said, adding that extra precautions are being taken to reduce contact.
In other business during last week’s meeting, the school board:
• Agreed to extend Requests for Qualifications for school upgrades and repairs to April 13 at 4 p.m.
• Approved Policy 5.701 on second reading, paying substitute teachers filling a leave based on their years of experience.
• Approved Policy 3.204, establishing a Threat Assessment Team for the school system.