‘Dear Martin’ pulled from Tuscola class

Students at Tuscola High School will no longer be able to read “Dear Martin,” (Crown Publishing Group, 2017) after administration decided the book is too inappropriate to use as assigned reading. 

Haywood scores touchdown on stadium capacity limits

It’s not something that happens all that often, but a late fourth-quarter drive by Western North Carolina’s state and local elected officials helped them find pay dirt in the end zone — in this case, raising the coronavirus-related capacity limits on outdoor high school athletic events.

School board undergoes bias training

The Haywood County School Board and central office administration will undergo unconscious bias training on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The training has been scheduled as part of the plan, created by Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte in response to the situation created by a Facebook post of Nolte’s last year. 

Haywood superintendent reinstated after investigation into controversial post

After being temporarily relieved of his day-to-day duties on July 13 following a controversial July 10 Facebook post, Haywood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte has been fully reinstated after an investigation by the Haywood County Schools Board of Education. 

Haywood County Schools needs some lessons

To the Editor:

I am writing this to the Haywood County School Board and the citizens of Haywood County.

My name is Brandon Milan. I am a decade-long resident of Haywood County and the white father of two Black children, one of whom is already a student in the Haywood County School system. 

Haywood School Board decides fate of superintendent who posted racially insensitive meme

After a social media post regarded by some as racially insensitive, Haywood County’s superintendent of schools has been temporarily relieved of his duties.

Administration shuffled in Haywood County Schools

Haywood County Schools superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte wasted little time in announcing the administrative support team that will help him maintain and improve upon the school district’s eleventh overall statewide ranking. 

Haywood Schools administrative staff takes shape

Just days after taking the reins as Haywood County Schools superintendent, Dr. Bill Nolte announced the support team that will help him maintain and improve upon the school district’s top-ten percent ranking in the years to come.

After an 80-minute closed session the night of July 12 during which the Haywood County Schools Board of Education deliberated over the changes, Nolte took to the podium to present them in open session.

“I want to thank the board for your support in putting, I believe, a strong senior administrative staff team in place that should carry us for the next five to 10 years,” he said, just after the board approved them unanimously.

Dr. Trevor Putnam will leave his job as Waynesville Middle School principal to become the associate superintendent for support services, managing facility use. He’ll also chair the policy committee, oversee random drug testing and serve as athletic director.

Also elevated to a sub-superintendent role is Jill Barker, who’ll serve as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and be responsible for enrollment, faculty curriculum and instruction, student transfers, remediation budgets, teacher allocations and some public information duties. Barker had been Pisgah High School’s principal.

Mark Sheppard assumes the role of transportation director, and is charged with managing transport operations, driver’s education and determining road quality during inclement weather. Sheppard’s old job of student services director has largely been subsumed into Dr. Putnam’s new position.

Todd Barbee moves to Waynesville Middle School to fill the role of principal at the system’s largest middle school, leaving Canton Middle School.

Carol Fox will leave her assistant principal role at Tuscola High School to serve as the new principal of Canton Middle School.

Kim Jackson is the new technology director, tasked with supervision of system infrastructure as well as library and media services; her old position of assistant technology director will likely go to a data specialist, according to Nolte.

Clint Conner is the new Pisgah High School principal, leaving his principal’s job at Clyde Elementary School.

Byron Burnette will serve as the new principal of Clyde Elementary School. Burnette leaves his assistant principal position at Pisgah High School; board member David Burnette recused himself from the vote on Byron Burnette due to a familial relationship.

Assistant principals are recommended by principals, and Nolte said he expects some recommendations to fill the open slots - those of Fox and Burnette - will be presented to the board on Monday, at its regularly scheduled meeting.

In a press release sent by HCS earlier this evening, Nolte said his only regret was not having “enough openings to place everyone who is qualified and ready.”

Look for more on this developing story in the next issue of Smoky Mountain News, on stands and online Wednesday, July 18. 

Haywood County Schools names new superintendent

The search for a new superintendent of the Haywood County Schools system is over, and as it turns out, those charged with conducting the search process didn’t have to look very far. 

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