Monday, January 25, 2021
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Overton County School Director Removed From Position

Overton County Director of Schools Mark Winningham has been removed from his position.

The board of education Tuesday voted in favor 6-4 to transfer Winningham to another job within the system. Chairman Jarman Hicks said a breakdown between Winningham and the board lead to the decision.

“During our conversation, Mr. Winningham felt that the relationship between himself and the board is not what it should be,” Hicks said. “And doesn’t know if that could be corrected or changed.”

Hicks motioned for Rickman Elementary Principal Donnie Holman to fill the position as interim director. That also passed 6-4. Board Members Dolphus Dial, Larry Looper, William Abston and Mike Gilpatrick being the four opposed to each vote.

Member Mitch Stonecipher said his vote in favor followed the will of the people who elected him.

“The comment was made that every time there is a new board, there is a new election every two years, and there is people rolling in and rolling off,” Stonecipher said. “Those elections are for the public to decide whether or not they are happy with the direction the school is going, and those representatives of the districts, including me, including you are chosen to execute the will of the people.”

Hicks said Winningham’s transfer to a new position is effective immediately and will be handled by Holman. The school system has until the end of June 2022 to find a permanent director.

Overton County Schools is allocated $104,000 each year to pay for Winningham’s $87,000 contract. According to Hicks, the leftover funds go back to the school system.

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