- Special Sections
- Public Notices
After not approving John Floyd as the athletic director at West Brunswick High School, the Brunswick County Board of Education is changing its mind.
Floyd’s name was not on the approved personnel list released after the board’s monthly meeting last Tuesday. Terry Chestnutt, assistant superintendent of human resources for Brunswick County Schools, said the board did not approve Floyd’s contract.
Floyd had already begun working in the AD position.
Board chairwoman Shirley Babson said a board consensus will allow Floyd to return to work and the recommendation to hire him will be approved at the board’s Aug. 26 meeting.
“The board did not know and was not informed that Mr. Floyd has been working two weeks,” Babson said. “It has caused a disruption in the school, and that’s not what we’re all about of course.”
Board member Jimmy Hobbs would not comment last week on the board’s initial decision not to hire Floyd. He reiterated candidates for employment are not officially hired until approved by the board.
“I don’t want to take away in any way the authority of principals and human resources to hire,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate because I’m sure Mr. Floyd is disappointed.”
Chestnutt said for vacant positions, a team of employees—which usually includes the principal or upper administration and employees of the school advertising the vacancy—interviews all potential candidates,
submits its recommendation for hire to the human resources department, which then checks criminal background and drug screens and all necessary qualifications.
The recommendation is then submitted to the board of education under the recommendation of the superintendent for final approval and hire.
Chestnutt said human resources is “extremely proactive” in making sure all checks are in order before submitting recommendations for hire to the board.
According to N.C. General Statute 115C-276(j), “It shall be the duty of the superintendent to recommend and the board of education to elect all principals, teachers, and other school personnel in the administrative unit.”
Babson also declined to comment on the board’s initial decision, citing personnel privacy issues.
“There’s some things that I can’t talk about,” she said. “We had our reasons. We still think there were some good reasons,” she said. “We acted on the information we had at the time. Now we’re just trying to make decisions in the aftermath.”
Superintendent Katie McGee did not respond to numerous phone calls, voice mail messages and an e-mail seeking comment on the matter.
Floyd previously worked as the athletic director at West, but resigned several years ago. Marcia Heady took over the position but left this summer to serve as Shallotte Middle School’s assistant principal. Floyd left his job with Elite Holmes earlier this summer to fill the AD position once more. He had put in about two weeks worth of work at WBHS.
Chestnutt said employees are sometimes allowed to begin work prior to board’s approval of hire.
“In times of necessity or emergency we allow a candidate of potential employee to work contingent on board approval,” he said, not giving commenting specifically on Floyd.
“I wouldn’t say its normal, but sometimes it does happen due to the situation,” Hobbs explained. “Maybe this situation was because football season is here and school is about to start.”
Babson said the board may consider forming a policy prohibiting such work after this situation.
“I think we need to change the way we’re doing things,” she said.
Board member Ray Gilbert also opposes any work being done prior to the board’s approval and official hire.
“I hate that this happened to Mr. Floyd and his family,” he said last week. “I’ve always been against people working before board approval. Hopefully this will make the board and the principals and administration aware they need to have a better practice in place. You’re not an employee until the board legally approves that employment. Anything else is taking a chance.”
Board member Jimmy Hobbs said he did not see a reason to not allow pre-hired employees to begin work, but said it should be stressed to potential candidates their employment is contingent on board approval.
Babson said when any employee returns to the school district, they are hired for an initial one-year period. The board will vote to hire Floyd during its Aug. 26 meeting, Babson said.
Sports editor Michael Paul contributed to this story.