A familiar face to many Athenians is in the running to take over as the new director of Athens City Schools.
On Oct. 30, current ACS Director Dr. Melanie Miller announced her intent to retire effective June 30.
As a result, a selection committee was formed consisting of Chris Adams, Melody Armstrong, Andrew Kimball and Janey Morris to seek out her successor.
During Monday night’s regular ACS Board meeting, Adams reported that a familiar name had surfaced during their search — former ACS Director Robert Greene.
“The committee also discussed correspondence we received from a uniquely qualified candidate who, upon hearing of the recent retirement intentions of Dr. Miller, has formally expressed interest in being considered for the director role of Athens City Schools,” Adams said. “Robert Greene … has submitted his name and resume to the selection committee for consideration.”
Greene is currently the director of Dayton City Schools and has also served as ACS director from 2010-2015 — being succeeded by Miller — and as superintendent of Meigs County Schools from 1981 to 2007.
In between his stints at the two local school systems, Greene served as the state’s assistant commissioner of education and deputy commissioner of education.
“Mr. Greene has experience at the local and state level with school administration and school finance and has also had experience with school building projects,” Adams noted. “The selection committee feels that Mr. Greene represents the qualities, experience and expertise that are required to lead the Athens City School Board and continue our commitment to excellence.”
Adams continued that the committee was recommending that the board set up a time to interview Greene as a candidate to take over as Miller’s replacement.
Adams noted that the board could then discuss Greene’s candidacy after the interview at the regularly scheduled Jan. 29 work session.
“If a decision is made to move forward, we would formally approve the director of schools at the Feb. 10, 2020 meeting with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2020,” Adams said.
“If the board chooses not to interview and/or hire this candidate, the board will proceed with the following director of schools process: we will put in place a director of schools timeline which includes setting a link on our website for people who wish to be considered to apply online; we will set a deadline for those applications to be considered; the selection committee will review and score applicants using a rubric based on the board’s qualifications and criteria; the selection committee will recommend the top candidates to the board members; the selection committee will schedule interviews with the top candidates; interview will be conducted with the board of education with only board members being allowed to ask questions; board members and the community will be invited to to attend those interviews; the board will select a director of schools and the director of schools will start on the date appointed.”
The board members unanimously decided to interview Greene, setting a date of Monday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. for the session.
Greene earned an Ed.S. from Tennessee Technological University, a master’s degree from Union College in Kentucky and his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College (now University) — in recent years, he was named a J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus by the Tennessee Wesleyan Alumni Association.
Prior to becoming a superintendent, he was a school principal in Monroe County and a teacher and coach in Monroe and Meigs counties beginning in 1972.
Joseph Kibodeaux was found not guilty of attempted first degree murder during a trial earlier this week.
The charge against Kibodeaux stemmed from a reported drive-by shooting on Valentine’s Day last year.
According to the report at the time, on Feb. 14, 2019, Athens Police Department officers responded to a reported shooting on Forrest Street where a woman claimed that she was in her car when a suspect in another vehicle opened fire on her.
The woman was reportedly injured by flying glass, but was not shot during the incident. Kibodeaux was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with attempted first degree murder.
He was indicted on the charge during the March term of the McMinn County Grand Jury.
The two-day trial, which started on Tuesday, resulted in a not guilty verdict for Kibodeaux.
He was defended by Evan Walden and Matthew Rogers.
Pleas and convictions
Officials with the City of Niota are working together to raise money to acquire an outdoor city stage.
The idea for the stage was proposed by city commissioners and Niota Mayor Lois Preece has now run with the concept.
The city recently hosted a hog raffle and all the proceeds from the raffle will go to help fund the stage. It is expected to be built in the grassy area between the depot and the library.
“It will have several functions,” said Preece.
The stage will be available for city events such as plays, concerts, church services and the annual Fried Green Tomato Festival.
Weather permitting, it will allow the city to have a location to host outdoor concerts any time of year.
The depot is also open for events such as weddings and the stage could be coupled with that as well.
“I think it will complete the wedding venue we have,” said Preece. “It will also provide more space for our vendors.”
Preece stressed that the stage is planned to be built purely on money raised and not through taxes.
“No taxpayer money will be used for the outdoor city stage,” she said, adding that taxpayer money is used “only on needs, not wants.”
Preece said they have plans for the stage to be toward the end of completion in the spring.
The City of Niota is currently working on design plans for the stage and raising funds for its completion.
Anyone wanting to donate funds, materials or assist in the building of the stage should contact Niota City Hall at 423-568-2584.
For 10 years, Christ Community Church has hosted a prom ministry for students in the surrounding area to provide prom dresses and tuxedos.
The outreach program — entitled Prom Shop — started with women in the church shopping for a Valentine’s Day dress.
“She wore the dress once and thought what do you do with the dress if you’re just going to wear it once,” said Program Coordinator Edna Lunsford.
The outreach program is held on March 21 at Christ Community Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“There is absolutely no cost. It’s completely free and not income based,” said Lunsford. “Everyone is welcome at the Father’s table.”
Lunsford’s favorite part of the event is the smile of the young men and women when they find that perfect dress or tuxedo.
“We want them to know they are supported and cared about,” said Lunsford. “This is such an important time in their lives.”
Students underneath the age of 18 are only required to bring a permission slip when attending and they will also have the chance to pick their choice of jewelry and receive teen driving tips.
The program has almost reached the 500 dress mark.
During the event, the church is set up to resemble a boutique for the women and Men’s Warehouse for the men coming to find a tuxedo.
The young men and women who attend the event aren’t required to return the dresses.
It is suggested, though, so that other people in the community can reuse the clothes for their prom experience.
If anyone has a dress or tuxedo from the event that they would like to return, call Christ Community Church at 423-745-8185 to drop off.