Mark Willoughby Recognized as Upper Cumberland Superintendent of the Year

December 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby Recognized as Upper Cumberland Superintendent of the Year

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby was recognized Thursday night for having been named the 2013 Upper Cumberland Superintendent of the Year.

Keith Brewer of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents presented a plaque to Director Willoughby for this honor during the monthly school board meeting.

Brewer said Willoughby was also in the running for Superintendent of the Year in the state but lost out to the eventual winner by less than a point. "It's my privilege tonight to recognize your Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. He is one of the outstanding leaders for the 2012-13 school year," said Brewer. "We have a competition for Superintendent of the Year. That is based on finalists that we have from each developmental district. Mr. Willoughby represented the Upper Cumberland District. He was nominated and elected as the finalist for the Upper Cumberland. He joined seven other superintendents across the state. It was a close competition this year. Some outstanding leaders were there. The Upper Cumberland (Superintendent of the Year) won last year (State Superintendent of Year) and she is now the current deputy commissioner from Putnam County which is in the Upper Cumberland so whatever you're doing down here it's right in the Upper Cumberland District. It represents about twenty two districts," he said.

"This year, Mr. Willoughby did not win (State Superintendent of Year) but what separated him from the eventual winner as Superintendent of the Year representing Tennessee in Los Angeles this year was less than a point," said Brewer. "We have independent readers, about nine of those are judges from across the state and they are made up of retired superintendents, higher education, supervisors, and practitioners in the field and they do the judging. That's a process that takes them sometimes a week and then they send the scores to us and we certify those scores and count those," he said.

In other business, Director Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel.

Those employed since the last meeting are as follows:
Evelyn Wray and Luanna Tollett, substitute teachers
Mary Margaret Tripp, Smithville Elementary School
Ricky Edwards, substitute bus driver

Bonnie Rigsby, Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary School

Leave of Absence:
Ginger Wenger, Teacher at Northside Elementary School as requested
Kristy Williams, Teacher at Smithville Elementary School as requested
Christy Young, Teacher at Smithville Elementary School as requested

Jim Harrison of Civil Site Design Group updated the board on plans for the DeKalb West School building program. Harrison, the civil engineer for the project, said the targeted bid date is March 28. "We've been on site looking at utilities, grades, and that sort of thing. The architects have proceeded with the floor plan. We've made some adjustments looking very closely at parking and everything else so we are proceeding nicely with some of the more schematic design elements. We are currently shooting at a target date of bid date of March 28, trying to complete all the design work. We were out there with maintenance today just doing some on ground work just to make sure everything fit within the site to accomplish the goals we needed to for not just what's inside the building but what's outside as well," said Harrison.

Director Willoughby said he is hopeful construction can begin by late spring. "Hopefully we'll bid it out in March and come back in April and accept the bids. Hopefully the bids will come in within reason and we'll accept those bids and start on the project," he said.

The board had planned to act Thursday night on the Architectural contract with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects, Inc for the building project at DeKalb West School but delayed a vote until a special meeting in January so that the attorney reviewing the contract for the school board can attend to answer any questions.

Meanwhile, the board has scheduled a workshop to conduct its annual evaluation of Director Willoughby for Monday, January 14 at 6:00 p.m. followed by a special meeting for a board self evaluation at 7:00 p.m.

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