JACKSBORO—Despite a minor hiccup during the formal vote, Director of Schools Donnie Poston received a one-year contract extension Tuesday night from the Campbell County Board of Education.
The board voted 7-1-2 in favor of the contract extension, with Mike Orick voting against it and Eugene Lawson and J.L. “Sarge” Collins abstaining.
Board Chairman Rector Miller, Johnny Byrge, Johnny Creekmore, Scott Hill, Josh Parker, Homer Rutherford and Danny Wilson all voted in favor of the motion.
Orick explained his vote by saying, “I wasn’t voting against Mr. Poston. I am voting against the terms of the contract.”
Orick took issue with a removal clause in which the board can, at any time, buy out the director of schools’ contract for $5,000 if it can muster the six votes necessary to do so.
Miller said the buyout clause was not intended to question Poston’s leadership, but was put in place after the board had a bad experience with the previous director of schools.
Collins appeared unsure of the job Poston has done the past three years. He quizzed the director about scores on college entrance exams as well as graduation and attendance rates.
“I don’t understand why we’ve got such a low rate that’s eligible for college,” said Collins.
Poston refuted figures that Collins gave the board, saying the correct graduation rate and test scores are listed on the State of Tennessee website.
“Our scores, in every subject area, have gone up for the first time in five years,” said Poston.
“We didn’t get (subpar schools) overnight. It’s been a period of 20 or 30 years. The culture has to be changed. I feel like we’re on the right path.”
As part of his contract extension, Poston will receive a raise equal to other school department personnel that do so.