News Ticker

School employees get $1,000 bonus

All school employees got a surprise Monday night as Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright recommended that the Board of Education approve a $1000 employee bonus for the entire school system.
That covers 2,342 employees, certified and classified, and the check would come some time in June. The money will come from two separate sources. The majority will come from federal money that was allocated to be used for non-recurring costs. The rest will come from some increased funding.
“No other school system endured what we have endured,” said Dr. Wright. She said Wilson County was the only system in the country that had to deal with the destruction of two schools by a tornado followed by a pandemic. Over 100 employees were affected by the tornado and 12 employees lost everything. The school system had to run several different modes of learning during the pandemic, including creating a virtual academy from scratch.
“We have learned how to do things we didn’t know we could do,” said Dr. Wright.
The bonus was approved unanimously.
Earlier in the meeting, County Attorney Mike Jennings said there was no update on the rebuilding of West Wilson Middle School and Stoner Creek Elementary. He said the ball is in Traveler’s Insurance court right now, and they are just waiting. He said he feels like a broken record coming before the board with the same statement each month.
“I feel like there will be something coming forward in the next few days,” said Jennings.
Board Chair Larry Tomlinson echoed his hope that something would be resolved in the coming days.
“It’s time, it’s past time to get this thing put to bed,” said Tomlinson.
The meeting ended in a recess so that they could be called back if something comes forward before the next meeting.
The Board then talked to Director of Transportation Jerry Partlow about the ongoing bus driver issues. The school system is severely short of bus drivers causing some late drop offs. Board member Jamie Farough said that on the north end of Highway 109 near the Sumner County line, some kids aren’t being dropped off until close to 6 p.m.
“There’s got to be an answer, there’s gotta be something we can do,” said Farough.
No action was taken but many possible solutions were discussed including an increase in pay, different school start times for elementary, middle and high schools, and crossing guards in areas where buses get slowed because of railroad crossings, left turns without a red light, etc.
If you are interested in being a bus driver, you can go to the school website at or call (615)444-3282. You have to be at least 25 years old. Pay is $17 an hour.