By Crystal Burns
The Trenton Special School District board and Tim Haney, former Peabody principal, agreed on a three-year contract, officially making Haney the new director of schools Tuesday night, Sept. 5.
Haney’s base contract is $103,000 per year. Beginning July 1, 2018, he will receive the same annual increase as teachers. Haney’s contract also includes a transportation/automobile allowance of $350 per month for travel expenses within the school district, $100/month phone allowance, and $250/ month for an annuity.
In July, the previous school board, comprised of Dr. Mark Harper, Sherry Whitby, Dee Ann McEwen, Doug Smith, and Jim Overall, unanimously selected Haney for the role being vacated by Sandra Harper who retired August 31. However, the board was barred from entering into a contract with Haney because of a state law that doesn’t allow school boards to hire a superintendent 45 days prior to an election or until 30 days have passed from an election.
McEwen was re-elected and new trustees Clint Hickerson and Justin Weaver were elected in early August. Mark Johnson, the district’s attorney, swore in the trio to put a sitting board in place for the vote on Haney’s contract Tuesday evening.
Haney said he was pleased with the deal.
“It’s great,” he told the board. “Thank you very much.”
Haney is in his 33rd year with the Trenton Special School District. He has taught and coached at the middle and high schools and served as assistant principal at Peabody High School and as principal at Trenton Elementary and Peabody. Haney was Peabody principal for the last 14 years.
Haney told the board his transition to the central office has been smooth.
“The transition here as far as I can tell has been smooth,” he said. “This is a great place. The folks down here will continue to do a good job for you.”
Rickey Hooker, former assistant principal at Peabody, has taken over the role as principal.
Board officers chosen – The board re-elected Harper as chairman and elected Weaver as vice chairman, Hickerson as chairman pro temp, McEwen as fiscal agent, and Smith as Tennessee Legislative Network representative.
Disciplinary Hearing Board – The school board approved Tommy Martin, Charlotte Doaks, Terry Brown, Tere Lumley, and Kelly Vonner for the Disciplinary Hearing Board, which meets as needed and is the only body allowed to send a student to alternative school.
Shane Jacobs chairs the board and explained that state law requires a hearing for any student who is suspended more than 10 days. The school board appoints the hearing board each year.
Donations – The board recognized Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Trenton for donating $185 plus school supplies to the district’s family resource center, which social worker Holly Barnett oversees, and the Trenton Foundation for its $1,000 to the district Backpack Program. Teachers identify students in food insecure homes to receive snacks and easy-to-prepare meals for the weekends. The food is discreetly placed in the students’ backpacks at the end of each week.
21st Century grant – Helen Brannum, who oversees the district’s 21st Century grant program, gave the board an update on the $155,000 the district has been awarded for this school year. The grant provides afterschool tutoring and enrichment opportunities. It’s the ninth year Trenton has secured the grant, and Brannum said when the current grant period ends in 2019, 21st Century will have given Trenton schools $1 million.
Brannum also introduced the school coordinators. Casey Hassell and Becky Dawson are taking over at Trenton Elementary School; Jennifer Walls at TRMS; and Jill Bibb at Peabody.
“We’re very excited to take over this position this year,” Dawson said. “This is not just about trying to get [students] to achieve higher scores, some of these kids just need somebody to spend time with them in the afternoon.”
Bibb said there are three components to the Peabody program: academics, enrichment, and service. She is focusing on beefing up tutoring this year and is adding an ACT component.