ELIZABETHTON – The Carter County School Board is approaching the end of its search for the next director of the school system. The board will conduct hour-long interviews this afternoon and evening with each of the three Finalists for the position. The public interviews will be held at the boardroom of the administration building at 305 Academy St. The first interview begins at 5 pm, with interviews of the remaining Finalists scheduled for 6 pm and 7 pm Unlike now board meetings, this one will not be livestreamed in order ensure none of the Finalists hear questions in advance of their appearance. The entire session will be available on Youtube following the event.
The three Finalists are Justin S. Barden, of Dickson; Brandon Carpenter of Elizabethton and Lance Myhan of Sale Creek. The three men each hold doctorates of education degrees and have experience as teachers and supervisors in public schools in Tennessee.
Barden is principal at Charlotte Middle School in the Dickson County School System, a position he has held since 2016. Prior to that, Barden began his career at Trinity Christian Academy as a physical education and study hall teacher in 2004. He then became a physical education and health teacher at the Humboldt City Schools in 2005 and Assistant principal at Dickson Middle School in 2013. Barden obtained his bachelor’s degree from Union University in Jackson, his Master’s degree from Trevecca Nazerene University, educational specialist degree and doctor of education degrees from Union University.
Carpenter has spent his entire career as an Educator with the Carter County School System. He began as a Mathematics teacher at Cloudland High in 2001, going to become Assistant Principal at Cloudland in 2008. He then became Principal at Hunter Elementary in 2012, then Principal at Hampton Elementary in 2014. Carpenter obtained his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 2002, educational specialist degrees from Union College of Barbourville, Ky. in 2008 and Lincoln Memorial University in 2010 and doctor of education degree from Carson Newman University in 2018.
Myhan worked as a law enforcement officer with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department in 1999. They began his career as an educator in 2005 as a history and social studies teacher with Brainerd High School in Hamilton County in 2000 and with Ooltewah High School in Hamilton County in 2005. He became principal of Bledsoe County Middle School in 2019. Myhan obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1999. His post Graduate education was all at Lincoln Memorial University, where he obtained his Master’s degree in 2002, his education specialist degree in 2004 and his doctorate of education in 2011.
Each of the candidates was asked by the school board to provide a statement on their vision for the Carter County School System. Some of those statements were as follows:
Barden wrote: “Carter County Schools will foster a safe environment of respect and care for all, while providing all students with high-quality learning opportunities, as well as a focus on the social, emotional and physical needs of all students, as we support young men and women in their efforts to become the best versions of themselves as they set out to be successful members of society and leaders in the world around them. ”
Carpenter wrote: “My vision for Carter County Schools is increasing teamwork, academic growth, and community involvement. These three areas are factors that I see lacking in our district. My vision is to work on these three key factors as well as to keep Exploring every area of shortfall in order to make Carter County Schools an elite system. My vision is for Carter County Schools to be a leader and set the standard in education. Our students are more than capable of setting the standard in East Tennessee. Further, our Faculty is comprised of the Hardest working, most dedicated professional you will ever meet. I now this because I am a product of this system and a member of the Faculty. Carter County Schools needs leadership and my vision is to provide a level of leadership that leads us to the top. ”
Myhan wrote: “My Philosophy of education is that every student is a unique learner, therefore curriculum and pedagogies must be crafted to engage all students. Teachers need to be challenged and supported in order to make their classroom a positive and productive learning environment for each individual student. My vision for Carter County Schools is to ensure all students have an opportunity to be successful and productive citizens by developing a future focused Mindset. ”
School Board members will have until Thursday to consider the performances and Responses of the three Finalists. A special called meeting of the board will be held on Thursday at 5:30 pm at the school system’s training center at 1339 Stateline Road in order to vote on who will be the next director of schools.