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Ward to stay one more year as director of Carter County Schools

John Thompson • Jan 17, 2019 at 11:28 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Kevin Ward surprised nearly all the Carter County School System’s teachers when he told them on the first day of school that he would be retiring as director of schools at the end of the year.

Ward surprised Carter County educators once again when he accepted one more year as director.

The plans were made official on Thursday when the school board voted unanimously to offer Ward a one-year employment contract. The contract is for the same wages and benefits Ward enjoyed this year and extends his employment from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2020.

Ward may even have surprised himself with his abrupt change of plans on retirement. When asked after the meeting when he decided to push back his retirement, Ward answered “Monday.”

Asked why he has decided to stay the extra year, Ward said “we have a lot of academic and educational initiatives going on right now; the biggest one is the Board of Education’s Five Year Plan, which is being written now.”

Draft 3 of the document has just been completed. The board unanimously approved the draft and it will now be sent to four working committees to complete the final version before a March deadline. The group will begin with a meeting of the whole and then schedule meetings for the four separate groups.

The plan was begun this year with the encouragement of the Tennessee School Board Association. Ward said TSBA leader Randall Bennett met with the board and encouraged the project.

Another positive note discussed by the board on Thursday was the gift of 55 acres of land to the school system by Louie Greene. The farm is located on Gap Creek Road.

Greene attended the meeting and told the board he is making the donation in honor of his parents, Virginia and Frank Greene, who built the farm with their hard labor.

Ward said that for the present, school board attorney John Banks will be meeting with Greene’s attorney to work out details. The land will pass to the school system when Greene dies. He stipulates the land is not to be divided or sold.

“This is something to be planned by school boards and school directors in the future,” Ward said.

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