Fourteen Applicants For Cheatham County Director Of Schools Narrowed To Top Six Semifinalist.

Dr. Beth Batson,Supervisor of Human Resources, Student Services and Policy at Cheatham County School District and Interim Director of Cheatham County Schools Stacy Brinkley and Supervisor of K-12. -Photo courtesy of Cheatham County Schools

Cheatham County School District Interim Director Stacy Brinkley and Dr. Beth Batson, Supervisor of Human Resources, Student Services and Policy have been selected as two of the six semifinal candidates to be considered for Cheatham County Director of Schools.The district received a total of 14 applications from candidates interested in the position. Batson and Brinkley were the only two internal applicants. 

Educational Consultant Wayne Qualls with TEAMS, Inc., Tennessee Education Management and Services Firm, selected the top semi-final candidates. TEAMS, Inc., was hired by the district for approximately $6000 dollars to conduct a director of schools search.

Prior to conducting the search Qualls met with each school board member individually to discuss the duties, expectations and qualifications they were seeking in persons interested in the position.

It was agreed on by board members to require a master’s degree with a preference of a doctorate, a minimum of three (3) years’ successful experience in school administration and willingness to relocate to Cheatham County School District, if living outside the district when hired, no later than December 31, 2017. Start date is anticipated for June 1, 2017.

The candidate hired for the director of schools position will be offered a benefits package and a salary between the range of $120 to $150 thousand dollars.  Salary will be contingent upon the applicant’s experience and education.

Qualified candidates were asked to submit a letter of interest, a current resume, copy of their state license, certifications, educational transcripts and four professional references. Applicants were instructed to mail or submit application packets to The Cheatham County Board of Education Office to the attention of Director of Schools.   Deadline for applications was March 1, 2017.

As part of the TEAMS, Inc., process applications were to remain sealed, unopened and only viewed by a TEAMS, Inc. consultant. Following the firm’s protocol provides an unbiased and confidential selection process.   Application packets opened by internal employees or board members could compromise the selection process negating the purpose of hiring a third party consultant firm.  Cheatham County School Board elected to hire and adhere to the firm’s protocol to alleviate any speculation of a bias candidate selection and hiring process.

Qualls retrieved and reviewed all fourteen applicants and selected the top six candidates most qualified for the position to be interviewed by the district’s school board. The applications of candidates not selected, according to the consultant firms protocol, will remain confidential and will not be viewed by employees or board members of the Cheatham County School District.

Cheatham County School Board will conduct Interviews with the six semifinalists  beginning Monday, April 3 and continuing on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in the Annex Board room of the Ashland City Elementary School.  The public is welcomed to attend.     

The following 6 semifinalist were selected out of 14 applicants that applied for Cheatham County Director of Schools-

  1. Dr. Beth Batson, Supervisor of Human Resources, Student Services and Policy, Cheatham County School District
  2. Dr. Catherine Beck, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Learning, Summit School District, Frisco, Colorado
  3. Stacy Brinkley, Interim Director of Schools, Cheatham County School District
  4. Dr. Jennifer Gray, Principal of Brooks Elementary School, Lauderdale County, Alabama
  5. Dr. Michael Shaffer, Assistant Professor of Education Leadership, Ball State University, Fort Wayne Indiana
  6. Dr. Michael Steele, Executive Principal, Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, Tennessee

Interviews of the six semifinalist will be held according to the following schedule provided by Cheatham County School District-

Monday, April 3, 2017

  • Dr. Jennifer Gray – 3:00 to 4:10 p.m.
  • Stacy Brinkley – 4:20-5:30 p.m.
  • Dr. Catherine Beck – 5:40-6:50 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017:

  • Dr. Michael Shaffer – 4:30-5:40 p.m.
  • Dr. Beth Batson – 5:50-7:00 p.m.
  • Dr. Michael Steele – 7:10-8:20 p.m.

The interviews will be held in the Annex Board Room of Ashland City Elementary School. (address provided below).  The public is welcome to attend.

The six semi-finalist will be narrowed to the top three candidates after initial interviews. The three finalists are scheduled to be interviewed on April 10, 2017.  

Cheatham County School Board Vice-Chair John Louallen has stated “Meet and Greets” will be scheduled for the public to attend and get to know the top three finalists.  He emphasized the importance of getting community perspective and observing how potential candidates interact with the public.   The new director of schools is expected to take their position as director on June 1, 2017.  

Cheatham County School Board will hold their monthly board meeting following the scheduled interviews on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Annex Board Room of Ashland City Elementary School located at 108 Elizabeth Street, Ashland City, Tennessee.  The community is encouraged to attend.


To learn more about TEAMS, Inc., or Consultant Wayne Qualls visit their website at

Learn more about Cheatham County School District, Internal Candidates Interim Director Stacy Brinkley, Dr. Beth Batson or The Cheatham County School Board at

Cheatham News congratulates each of the six semi-final candidates selected to be interviewed for the position of Cheatham County Director of Schools.   

Cheatham News (c) 2017