Saturday, March 6, 2021
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OCEA Supports School Board’s Decision On Leadership Change

The Overton County Education Association supports the school board’s decision to remove Dr. Mark Winningham as director of schools.

The Tennessee Education Association affiliate organization is an advocate for teachers and students. President Jennifer Eilender said the organization does not have concerns about the leadership change.

“We have great faith in the board to make decisions,” Eilender said. “We feel like the board puts schools and the students and the teachers and the faculty and the whole system at the first priority of their decision making process, so we feel good about it.”

Eilender said she feels that teacher morale will not be affected with Dr. Donnie Holman as interim director. Eilender said the focus now is making a smooth transition to continue quality education.

“The only way that things like this affect learning at the classroom level is if it affects teacher morale, and I don’t see that being the situation in this case,” Eilender said. “It has been a crazy year anyway with COVID, and everybody is kind of battling that. We just need a smooth transition to keep everything going the way it needs to be going for our kids.”

The school system has set its deadline for June 2022 to find a permanent director. Eilender said whoever that may be, teamwork is something the organization wants.

“The association looks forward with having a really good working relationship with whoever the next director may be,” Eilender said. “I know that we’ll have a good relationship with Dr. Holman in the interim and should he roll over and become the full time director or whoever they put into place. We want to have a really good working relationship with them, and we want them to see them have a good working relationship with the board.”

Eilender said speaking about Winningham’s tenure is unneeded as the association looks forward to the future.

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