The Jackson County Board of Education held a specially called meeting last week.

During the meeting Board members voted on and approved several personnel actions including the resignation of Heather Harper at Section High School; the retirement of Sandra Houser; the transfer of Michelle Grant of North Sand Mountain; the transfer of Jeri Brown from Rosalie; the transfer of Jamie Whitley to teacher at Paint Rock Valley; the transfer of Johnny Holman from Bridgeport Middle School; the transfer of Jesse McCutcheon to 50 percent teacher at Hollywood; the transfer of Carlton Pittman  from Section/Pisgah.     Board members voted 3-2 to deny the motion to transfer Sam Houston to teacher at the Alternative School. The Alternative School teacher previously retired.  Board members Charles West, Ken Storey and Cecil Gant voted no. Houston, a 22 year employee for the Jackson County Board of Education first served as a teacher for 12 years and then as principal at North Jackson High School for ten years, prior to his resignation from the position last year. Houston was placed at Paint Rock Valley as a history teacher. However, when Paint Rock Valley lost teacher units, the position Houston was filling in for was cut. He is currently a teacher within the system, with no position.
Houston stated that following the meeting he spoke to both Storey and Gant. According to Houston, Storey stated, “It was a rough vote”. Houston said, “I was told by him (Storey) last week I was the best man for the job. I asked him why he voted no. He said, ‘that’s not how we vote here. We vote for our buddies around here. We did when Chief was here and we’re still doing it.’” Houston stated that he went to Gant and asked why he voted no. According to Houston, Gant responded, “I have no problem with you. I’ve committed myself to Jack Allen and I’m going to remain committed.”
Superintendent Kevin Dukes stated, “I feel Mr. Houston is the best candidate due to his work experience.  He has 22 years experience in our county, with 9 of these years serving as a Principal. Mr. Houston is currently a teacher in Jackson County. We will not have a teacher at the Alternative School until further notice. Board members are elected to vote based on my recommendations, keeping in mind what is best for the children in our system.  They are not elected to choose who or make suggestions as to who is hired.”
Efforts to contact Gant, Storey and West for comment were unsuccessful.

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