Warren County School Board members gave their nod to Grant Swallows as the next director of schools Thursday evening. Employment negotiations began Friday morning.
“I’m actually on my way back to Warren County,” said Swallows, in a telephone interview with the Southern Standard on Friday. “Negotiations begin today. It’s a humbling and great feeling for the board to give me that vote of confidence. It really speaks to the community of Warren County and its school system as a whole to have such great candidates. It’s always tough to make those decisions. I appreciate the confidence the board showed in me, and I’m honored to have been the one who was chosen.”
If negotiations go smoothly and School Board members approve the contract, Swallows says he plans on hitting the ground running.
“This is an interesting time for everybody,” said Swallows. “You are dealing with a school closure that is unprecedented. The big thing right now is how to go about getting as much information as possible. I need to meet as many people as quickly as possible in getting to know what needs to be done and getting the lay of the land. I need to determine where we are and where we need to go."
Swallows was approved by a 4-1 vote from School Board members Thursday night. Tanya Bess, Helen Martin, Bill Zechman and Teddy Jones voted to hire him. Sue Anderson voted to hire Autumn Turner.
Swallows says it takes a team to educate children and he wants to be a member of Warren County’s team.
“They need to know that the director of schools is just one person,” he said. “It’s a community effort to educate children. One person can’t improve a school system. It takes employees, students, parents and the community members. It’s a team effort. We can’t successfully educate students without everyone working together. It’s a team-first approach. I believe in that.”
He spoke to parents specifically.
“Nobody cares more about the education of a child than their parents,” said Swallows. “I’m a parent. They need to know that I might not always make a decision that they agree with, but that decision was made with the best interest of all the children involved. That will be at the heart of everything I do and that is something I hope they understand.”
Warren County School Board members will meet Monday, May 11, at 5 p.m. for director of schools contract approval.