Search For New School Director Likely To Be Suspended Until Fall

Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 01, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s Saturday morning on a beautiful summer day, but inside the school's central office school board committee members were back at work. Their focus: how to begin a new search for a school director and when.

"We just need to revisit our process from this go round, see what worked, see what didn't. How do we flesh out the process, given the things that will be different. How do we incorporate those changes," Chairwoman Sharon Gentry said.

With a new mayor soon to be elected officials have been hesitant to move forward without that person's input.

"I think that person can be really powerful in helping us in recruitment," committee member, Will Pinkston said.

In a letter, ten Nashville organizations also asked the board to suspend its search until a new mayor and a new group of candidates has been chosen, a plea that weighed heavily in the committee's vote.

They voted 6 to 1 on a recommendation to suspend the search for a new director until the entire board can come together at its fall retreat.

"We are ready to do this in a more thoughtful manner and take our time and not sprint through this process," Anna Shepherd said.

After the disappointing conclusion to their extensive search that ended last month board members have been ready to get it right, focusing on quality rather than quickness.

"I think it was a blessing in disguise, frankly. We found out some things about Dr. Looney after the offer that was disappointing in terms of how it speaks to character," said Pinkston.

"We didn't have the slate that we were expecting so we will talk about a search firm," Shepherd said.

The recommendation to push the pause button on the search for a new director was set to go before the entire board at is August 11 meeting. School officials said they're confident in the leadership in place now.