The field is down to four candidates for the next director of Tullahoma City Schools.

After being presented with a top-five list of potential candidates from the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA), which was hired to perform a nationwide search for the next TCS leader, the school board met Monday to announce it would only be conducting interviews with four of the candidates presented.

Those candidates to receive interviews from the board are Dr. Edwin Nichols Jr., the president of ENspire Consulting, LLC; Dr. Kimberly Osborne, the current coordinator of data and assessment of Murfreesboro City Schools; Dr. Catherine Stephens, the associate director of schools for teaching and learning in the Franklin Special School District; and Dr. Aimee Wyatt, the director of state and district partnerships for Southern Regional Education Board and an adjunct professor of educational leadership master and doctoral programs at Lipscomb University.

The fifth candidate presented to the school board last week was Dr. Roger Alsup, the current principal at Franklin County High School.

According to School Board Chairman Pat Welsh, the seven-member board spent “many hours” looking over the resumes and checking references for all five candidates over the weekend before ultimately deciding to interview four.

“The way I interpreted it was [the board] wanted to interview who they thought were the top candidates, but nobody made any comments about the candidates per se,” Welsh told The News Monday afternoon.

“There’s been a whole lot of work done,” he added.

Some board members even looked up video presentations by each of the candidates that were posted on YouTube and looked through their professional social media channels during their individual research, Welsh said.

The next step will be to bring each of the four finalists to Tullahoma for special day-long events, including informal breakfasts and lunches with board members and community leaders prior to a formal interview.

Welsh said each of those interviews will take place during the last week of February and the first week of March.

After the interviews have been conducted, Welsh said it is his hope that the board will make a final decision on the new superintendent in March.

“We would hope soon after that to be able to have a vote,” he said.

 

The candidates

Dr. Edwin Nichols Jr. is the only man to make the final four. His professional experience includes a brief stint as director of bands for Tullahoma High School in the late 1980s, a principalship in Decatur, Alabama, in the late ‘90s and a four-year stint as the superintendent of Decatur City Schools in the early 2010s.

Nichols holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee, as well as an Ed.S in Educational Administration and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama.

He retired from teaching in 2016 and began consulting work in Alabama and Louisiana.

Most recently, he created his own consulting firm, ENspire Consulting, LLC, which focuses on “team building, communication and strategic planning” in the public and private sectors as well as educational institutions.

Dr. Kimberly Osborne has served as the Murfreesboro City Schools Coordinator of Data and Assessment since 2018. She holds multiple degrees from Middle Tennessee State University, including a bachelor of science in Health Education, a master of science in Public & Community Health, an Ed.S in Administration and Supervision and a Doctorate in Assessment, Learning and School Improvement.

According to her resume, Osborne is a 2019 graduate of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents Prospective Superintendents Academy.

Prior to her current position, she served as the Principal of Reeves Rogers Elementary School in Murfreesboro, a Math Standards Review Committee Member, an assistant principal at Hobgood Elementary School in Murfreesboro, a numeracy coach at Neely’s Bend Middle School in Madison and a teacher at both Antioch Middle School and J.F. Kennedy Middle School in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools system.

Dr. Catherine Stephens has served the Franklin Special School District as an associate director of schools for teaching and learning since 2012. She is also currently an adjunct professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, a position she has held since 2012.

Stephens holds a B.S. in early childhood education from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in K-12 administration and supervision from Sam Houston State University in PLACE, an Ed.S in Curriculum and Instruction from MTSU and a doctorate of education in learning organizations and strategic change from Lipscomb University.

She has held multiple principalships and assistant principalships at Scales Elementary, Northfield Elementary and Bellwood Elementary schools in Murfreesboro and Black Elementary School in Houston. Stephens also has several years of teaching experience at Black Elementary, Theiss Elementary School in Klein, Texas, Parkway Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia and MTSU.

Dr. Aimee Wyatt also wears multiple hats, as she currently serves as an adjunct professor at Lipscomb University, the director of state and district partnerships for Southern Regional Education Board out of Atlanta and a career academies coach for the Jacksonville-based Steele Dynamics. She has held these positions since 2017, according to her resume.

Prior to these positions, Wyatt served Metro Nashville Public Schools from 2004 to 2017, including the assistant principal of McGavock High School (2004-2007), the executive principal of Antioch High School (2007-2011), the executive lead principal for high schools and middle schools (2011-2015) and the executive officer for high schools (2015-2017). She also worked for Williamson County Schools as a Spanish and geography teacher at Page High School in Franklin, as well as MNPS as a Spanish teacher at Maplewood High School.

Copies of each candidate’s resume can be found to the left.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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