Franklin school superintendent resigns

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

FRANKLIN—City schools Superintendent Bill Pruett announced his resignation Tuesday evening during a school board work session.

“We were not expecting it,” said Ward 2 school board member Robert Meredith.

Pruett was initially hired as interim superintendent in August 2006 after Dr. Alline Farmer was reassigned within the school division.

Pruett’s interim title was later lifted and he was given a two-year contract, which would have expired at the end of the 2009 school year, according to Assistant Superintendent Rick Clemons.

“He has still served us for two years,” Clemons said, noting when Pruett came on board. “I have nothing but the highest regard for him. He has always been very supportive of me.

“He’s the type of person who lets you do your job. He’s professional and he expects you to be professional as well.”

While Clemons said he couldn’t comment on Pruett’s plans, he did speculate that perhaps “at this point in time, (I think) he feels that he is ready for a change.”

Pruett was out of the office Thursday and couldn’t be reached on his cell phone. School Board Chairman Bill Scarboro was also unavailable for comment.

Clemons said that the school board hasn’t had further discussion about what the next step will be in the search for a new superintendent.

Meredith noted that the “last couple of weeks have been very tough on the board,” in regard to trying to operate a small school district with a limited budget.

Pruett &uot;was right there with us” during that time, he said. Pruett began “at a time when the board needed someone to take the reins” after (Farmer) was “bought out” of her contract.

“One of the first things he had to deal with was the flood. His was a steady hand when we needed it, at a rocky time.”

Meredith said, “He did a great job stepping into a tough spot at a tough time.”

He also added that Pruett has offered to help in the search for a full-time superintendent.

“I suspect that his help will be greatly appreciated,” Meredith said, citing a survey of surrounding school districts and what they pay superintendents.

At close to $120,000, including benefits, Franklin pays the lowest salary in the area, according to Meredith.

“I’m very appreciative of the job Bill has done for us,” he said. “He has been a big help.”