Rutherford school board chair at risk of losing leadership role

Rutherford school board chair at risk of losing leadership role

  • 2 of 5 who backed Sharp to be chairman a year ago want change
  • Former chairman Coy Young also wants change in leadership
  • Vice chairman Caleb Tidwell supports Sharp remaining as chairman
  • Board members question Sharp leadership on charter school approval

Rutherford County Board of Education chairman Tammy Sharp may be in jeopardy of losing her leadership position.

Two of the five board members who supported Tammy Sharp to be chairman in a 5-2 vote want new leadership to preside over meetings and work with the administration on preparing meeting agendas. Sharp needs four votes to remain as chairman, but the two wanting a change after backing Sharp last year are Frances Rosales and Claire Maxwell.

“Change is good, and new leadership is not a reprimand against the past,” said Rosales, who won her seat in 2022. “It’s just about moving forward.”

“I think it should be a one year thing,” said Maxwell, who won her seat in 2020 “If you are going to be on the board and serve out your entire term, you should have the opportunity to be chair or vice chair.”

The board will decide whether to keep or replace Sharp during a 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting at the district’s administration office, 2240 Southpark Drive, Murfreesboro.

Frances Rosales

Sharp described the loss of support from Rosales and Maxwell as being “self serving because they want the chair themselves.”

“Neither one of them have the experience or the years on the board that I have,” said Sharp, who won her seat in 2018 and was reelection unopposed in 2022.

Leading the board:Majority of school board chooses Tammy Sharp to be chairwoman

Rutherford County School Board Member Claire Maxwell, right, talks with James Sullivan after the meeting, on Monday, May 23, 2022, where the Rutherford County School Board voted to appoint Sullivan to be the next Rutherford County Schools director.

Sharp touts her leadership

Sharp and her fellow elected board members oversee Schools Director James “Jimmy” Sullivan, and vote on budgets, contracts, campus zoning and policies. Sullivan manages a district with over 6,100 budgeted employees serving about 52,000 students attending 50 schools in fast-growing Rutherford.

“I think Dr. Sullivan and I have made a great leadership team, and we’ve had lot of successes this year,” said Sharp, who touted the district earning a top Level 5 score from the Tennessee Department of Education for demonstrating academic growth on all standardized tests. “I would like to continue that. Why change something that is not broken.”

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