NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Nashville Public Schools named their new interim Director of Schools Tuesday. In a surprise move they named Chief Financial Officer Chris Henson to the position.
Last week the board appointed Jay Steele as interim director but a teacher filed a complaint about an open meetings violation.
Tuesday during a special school board meeting the change to Henson was approved.
Henson is will be filling a position left vacant by Dr. Jesse Register who retired. Register has led the school system of 85,000 children for more than six years.
Henson will fill in as interim director until a permanent replacement can be found.
Some board members called Tuesday night's vote a sham.
Member Amy Frogge was upset that fellow Steele supporter couldn't be present because she had surgery today. Both asked the meeting be postponed, but that request was shot down.
Member Will Pinkston said the state hasn't even responded to the alleged open meetings violation, so the emergency meeting and vote was unnecessary and appeared to be an easy way to remove Steele - who the recruiting company had ruled out as a candidate for the permanent job.
"It feels like you’re trying to reverse the decision in frankly a heavy-handed way," Pinkston said. "You had a baseless complaint filed by one individual citizen. That should not have triggered a special emergency board meeting."
Henson has done this job before.
He served as interim before Dr. Register was hired in 2008.
"It was supposed to be a month last time, and it ended up being a year," Henson said. "The search is going to take as long as it takes until they get the right person in place."
Dr. Jesse Register officially retired at midnight.