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Pickett County Director Of Schools Gets Two Year Contract Extension

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Pickett County Director Of Schools Gets Two Year Contract Extension

The Pickett County School Board approved a two-year contract extension for Director of Schools Diane Elder Monday night.

Elder has been in the Pickett County School system for 45 years. The extension will be a renewal of Elder’s current contract with no change in salary.

“Pickett County’s got to be the best county in the state of Tennessee to work for,” Elder said. “I have four of the best board members I could ever ask for. I’ve always had the privilege of having great board members to work with that have one goal in mind, and that’s to educate our children.”

Elder said the decision to stay was extremely difficult, but her heart remains with the students and teachers of Pickett County.

“I have been debating for an entire year now of what I wanted to do, whether or not I wanted to ask for a renewal, but I guess my heart tells me that this is where I needed to stay for a little while longer,” Elder said.

Elder said after more than four decades in the system, sometimes the feeling can creep in that it is time to go. She said she appreciates the community and the School Board for not pressuring her to make a decision and continuing to support her. Elder said she plans to continue the work that the board has been doing throughout her tenure, as well as push for widespread change over the next two years.

“Personally, this is Diane speaking, I am totally against the A-F grading system and I am totally against vouchers,” Elder said. “I think public funds should be kept in public schools, and I want to try to do my best to encourage that to happen.”

The contract will be effective starting July 1, 2024, running through June 30, 2026.

In other business, the School Board amended its budget to account for some $1,900 of leftover state Special Education funding that will be used for the district’s 3-5-year-olds in Pre-School Special Ed programs.

The Board also began the transition to a new computer system on Monday. Elder said the district will switch over from Flex software to NextGen to make office reports more condensed and easier to read. The software change cost the district some $26,000.


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