Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Year in Review: Education

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District 15 County Commissioner Mike Justice asked Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Tim Setterlund whether or not he had "been to a local establishment during school hours in a county vehicle and drank alcohol" at the January meeting of the Wilson County Commission.

Setterlund answered, "Yes" then told The Wilson Post following the meeting, "I didn't think it would be a problem. My contract reads that that vehicle is provided for my personal use, so I use that vehicle like I would my personal vehicle."

Following a series of meetings, both with attorney Mike Jennings and board members, it was decided to let Setterlund out of his contract.

The "Release and Settlement Agreement" was executed on Friday, Jan. 24, but according to its terms, Setterlund was no longer an employee of the BOE as of 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Jan. 23.

Under the terms of the agreement, Setterlund would receive $78,000, plus the cost of his health and major medical insurance benefits, including life insurance, up to and including June 30, 2015, which would cost approximately $7,000. Jennings said the total settlement is about $4,500 more than what he would have received if he had worked the entire first year of his three-year contract.

At the February BOE meeting, Mary Ann Sparks, deputy director of talent management, was named interim director of schools by a unanimous vote of the board until a new director could be hired.

The BOE heard presentations by director finalists Trousdale County Schools Director Clint Satterfield and Williamson County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Donna Wright Saturday, May 3 before going into a special called meeting to select a top candidate.

The board selected Wright to be their final choice for Director of Schools with a vote of 4-1.

Board member Bill Robinson voted for Satterfield.

Watertown unveils new high school

The Wilson County community ventured to Watertown on Sunday, July 20 for a Presentation of the Keys at the new Watertown High School.

Groundbreaking for the $40 million school project was held Sept. 18, 2012.

Principal Jeff Luttrell shared that he was the most excited about the school's theater, which would set 750 compared to the former school's theater which would seat 350.

"Before this school was build we never had our own baseball field. This project has been great because we have gotten ahead of the growth. This building will be taking care of us for years," he said.

The school, designed by KBJM Architects, offered 31 classrooms, three science labs and three shops and could hold 1,000 students in the 195,000 square-foot building.

Sam Houston celebrates 50 years
Sam Houston Elementary School was founded in 1964 and its first day of class was held on the Monday following Labor Day that year.

Current School Principal Julie Beasley said she thought it would be fitting to hold the celebration around the same time this year and give former students and staff the opportunity to meet and greet. A celebration was held at the school on Sunday, Sept. 7.

WCS names new transportation director
Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright named Tiffany Lowery as the school system's new transportation director in November.

Lowery previously served as the safety and training supervisor for pupil transportation in the Fayette County Public School System in Lexington, Kentucky. for the past 11 years. Fayette County serves over 40,000 students - 34,759 of which ride the school bus daily.

"Ms. Lowery brings a wealth of experience in pupil transportation. Her enthusiasm, innovation and genuine concern for the safe transportation of children are exemplary," Wright said.

Teacher suspended in alledged slapping incident at LHS
On Nov. 12, The Wilson Post reported that Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright acknowledged a teacher had allegedly slapped a student at Lebanon High School for using profanity, but said she couldn't make any further comment.

She confirmed that the incident happened last week and that the teacher, whom she did not name, received a three-day suspension without pay.

Follow up reports named the teacher as Teresa Bates.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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