Bartlett a finalist in Tenn.

March 07, 2001

Bartlett a finalist in Tenn.


Washington County Schools Superintendent Herman Bartlett is one of five finalists for the superintendent position for Williamson County Schools in Franklin, Tenn.


The list of finalists was narrowed from 11 candidates by the Superintendent's Search Committee Monday afternoon, said Williamson County School Board member Charlene Kimmel. The committee has been looking for a candidate since last summer.

Bartlett said he was honored to be in the running.

"When they say you're a quality product, I think that's very positive," he said. "I'm honored. This is one of the ways I get validated."


Kimmel said the School Board will take over the job search and that interviews could be scheduled by the end of March. There could be an announcement of a new superintendent by April 1, she said.

The position's salary was posted at $101,000 a year, but the Williamson County Commission could hike the salary to between $120,000 to $129,000, Kimmel said. She said the Budget Commission has already approved the increase, but it would not become final until the County Commission approves it.

Bartlett's salary is listed as $105,000 a year on a list of salaries provided by the Washington County Board of Education, but he wrote on his application for the Williamson County position that he makes $129,000.

He said the salary he listed on the application is accurate, because he included all the fringe benefits, such as moving expenses.

"That's what it is," Bartlett said. "It is what it is."

He also listed on his application that the Washington County public school system has an enrollment of 21,000. School documents list the county's enrollment as 19,411, which is also what the state uses in figuring the county's state allocation.

Bartlett said he counted preschool students and students who attend the school system through grant money to get the 21,000 enrollment.

In addition, Bartlett listed on the application that the school system's annual budget was $150 million. The operating budget approved for fiscal 2001 was set at $118.4 million. The proposed fiscal 2002 operating budget is $127.4 million.

Bartlett said he included the school system's $4.5 Capital Improvement Plan in the total, as well as grant money, to come up with the $150 million.

Chris South, the board's director of finance, and David Brandenburg, supervisor of accounting, could not be reached for comment on the total amount the school system receives in grants a year.

Kimmel said that much of the research on the candidates has been done by Gary Ray and Associates, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, consulting firm. She said, however, she plans to do her own research.

"I'm going to be very careful," Kimmel said. "I'm kind of famous down here for doing my research. I can sort of get an impression myself."

She said she may talk with community members from Washington County as part of her research.

"We're looking for someone with a vision," she said.

Kimmel said Tennessee sunshine laws require that Bartlett's interview, as well as those of other candidates, be done in public. The interviews also will be taped.

Williamson County Schools has 19,812 students, 30 schools and a budget of about $109 million. Franklin, Tenn. is about 20 miles south of Nashville.

Bartlett was hired in Washington County in October 1997. His contract expires on June 30, 2002. He didn't elaborate on why he put the application in for the Williamson County job, but he did say it was the "right time."

"I'm certainly prepared to stay through my contracted time period," Bartlett said. "If you give somebody your word, you've got to stick to it."

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