General Sessions Court Judge Diana Monroe has been selected as the next Director of Schools by the Clay County Board of Education.
The board approved negotiating a two-year contract with Monroe. Chairman Benji Bailey said that contract negotiations can begin as soon as Friday.
“On behalf of the board I would like to congratulate Miss Monroe on the decision made tonight and the opportunity you have before you,” Bailey said. “As you know and Mr. Eldridge would attest to, it’s not easy.”
The board approved selecting candidates in the form of a motion, two candidates were nominated. Board Member Nathan Sherrell nominated Monroe, Board Member David West nominated Overton County K-6 Supervisor Melissa Savage.
Monroe received the necessary six votes to be approved, Savage received four. The vote was split directly down the middle of the room, with all members on one side of the board voting for Savage and the other side of the room voting for Monroe.
Board Members Nathan Sherrell, Todd Lynn, Mark Ashlock, Benji Bailey, Nick Melton and Todd Upton voted for Monroe. Board Members David West, Veda Hix, Vonda Weir and James Hatcher voted for Savage.
Board Member Nick Melton passed on voting when Savage was being voted on. Melton said he wanted to wait for more discussion.
“If the motion passes, there will be no more discussion,” Bailey said. “If it doesn’t pass with six yes votes, then we’ll entertain another motion.”
Once Monroe was approved and the length of a two-year contract was set, the board entered into discussion on what exactly would be offered. Bailey said the amount offered would be based on Monroe’s applicable degrees and years of experience.
“Essentially we’ve taken the same contract and basically replaced the names and the dates, based on their experience,” Bailey said. “If you want to essentially negotiate considering the same contract that Mr. Eldridge had.”
Pending acceptance, the contract will begin on January 1, 2022. Current Director of Schools Matt Eldridge will officially retire on December 31, 2021.