COMMENTARY: The next director of schools should be ...

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On Thursday of this week it is likely the finalists for the position of Cannon County Director of Schools will be interviewed.

There are nine candidates for the job. That number is expected to be trimmed to five or less when the Cannon County Board of Education and an advisory committee meets Tuesday night (March 13).

Those who make the final cut will likely be brought in for in-person interviews Thursday night.

Three of the candidates -- interim director and long-time teacher and administrator William (Freddy) Curtis, West Side principal Karen King and Cannon County High principal Mike Jones -- are all well known by the board and advisory committee. It is unlikely any new information from either of the three will be elicited from interviewing them.

The remaining candidates are mostly all unknown to those tasked with finding the next director of schools, but that doesn't mean a qualified candidate -- perhaps even the most qualified candidate -- is not among them.

I see the future of Cannon County as being that of a bedroom community for Rutherford County. It is unlikely Cannon County will see significant growth in population or jobs anytime in the near future. On the other hand, Rutherford is predicted to see large gains in both areas.

A great school system would be a major asset for Cannon County in that it could help attract young parents who are working at jobs in Rutherford County to reside here. John Bragg Hwy. makes commuting fast and convenient.

To that end, if I were asking questions of the persons who want to be the next Cannon County Director of Schools, it would be these:

• Can Cannon County have the best school system in the State of Tennessee?

• What would it take to make Cannon County Schools the best school system in the state?

• Why do you think you are the most qualified person to lead the effort to make Cannon County Schools the best in the state?

The candidate who I believe provides the best answers to those questions is the person I would hire.

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