Haywood County Schools will buy Ratcliff Cove land

More than three months after a rezoning request revealed plans by Haywood County Schools to consolidate several facilities on a new piece of property in Waynesville, Superintendent Trevor Putnam was given access to the funding that will make acquisition of the parcel possible. 

EXCLUSIVE: Potential property shuffle puts Haywood County Schools in a pickle

A relatively routine rezoning request for a parcel off Ratcliff Cove Road has inadvertently revealed multi-million dollar plans by Haywood County Schools to consolidate several of its auxiliary services in one central location — a move that could affect multiple facilities and have a ripple effect on several other ongoing county issues.

Haywood School Board misses an opportunity

When the Haywood County School Board announced that it had chosen Trevor Putnam as the system’s new superintendent, I can’t think of a single person who follows education news in this region that was surprised. People were making that call even before Superintendent Bill Nolte announced his relatively sudden November retirement.

No search, no problem: Putnam named superintendent

Just over a month after Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte announced his impending retirement, the Haywood County School Board has chosen to forgo a search process in favor of its established succession plan and selected its new superintendent — Dr. Trevor Putnam.

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.

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. 

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