Skip to Content

Cumberland School Board Approves New Director Stepp’s Contract

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland School Board Approves New Director Stepp’s Contract

Cumberland County School Board approved the contract for the new Director of Schools William Stepp at its Thursday night meeting.

The board approved the 3-year contract and an annual salary for Stepp at some $107,000. The current Upperman principal nominated for the job earlier this month. Some board members said  the contract was a “lowball” offer. But Contract Committee Member Teresa Boston said there was a reason it was less than outgoing director Dr. Ina Maxwell’s salary.

“The contract committee looked at the education, we offered Dr. Maxwell $107,000,” Boston said. “She has a doctorate, she has some administrative experience. Mr. Stepp is coming and I think he has a Master’s level with an EDS and had no central office experience.”

Board Member Stace Karge offered the lone “no” vote for the contract approval. She said that she thought one aspect of the contract was “mean-spirited.

Karge noted “The DIRECTOR shall foster an attitude of respect among staff for the authority of the Board of Education and shall, within the bounds of the law, share such information and documentation with members of the Board as will support and inform the Board’s policy development and decision making.”

Board Member Robert Safdie said that while there might not be an objective way of evaluating an attitude of respect, it’s important to have a precedent set.

“A historic lesson in which a director of schools, not named, actually told staff members to keep their mouths shut and don’t speak to the board,” Safdie said. “That was incredible when I heard about that. So in lieu of that kind of scenario, then I think that this was a counter to that. Saying the Director of Schools should foster or encourage good relationships with faculty and with staff and with the board.”

Boston said that it is what the board would expect of a director. She said that now instead of it not being on paper, it is.

Stepp said that he accepted the contract as presented. He will begin his term as the new director on July 1st following Maxwell’s retirement.


The post Cumberland School Board Approves New Director Stepp’s Contract appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.