Grundy Co. School Board accepts Director of Schools' resignation, buys contract

Jessie Kinsey started her job as Director of Schools back in December 2015. (Image: WTVC)

The Grundy County School Board has voted to accept the resignation of Director of Schools Jessie Kinsey Friday night.

Kinsey's contract was the only topic scheduled for discussion.

The school board voted to buy her contract out in the lump sum of $105,000.

Her attorney and the the school board's attorney, Chuck Cagle had been negotiating options throughout the day.

Cagle told the board it had three options: Do nothing, transfer Kinsey to another position within the system, or allow her to resign and buy out the lump sum of her contract.

With a 5-3 vote, the board chose option three.

Cagle told the board, Kinsey expressed some of her concerns to him, "And she did say in the conversation to me, she did say she was just tired of being harassed, tired of everybody calling and tired of the trouble," Cagle said.

Kinsey was not present for the meeting that decided her fate.

But the room was full of her supporters.

Board member Paul Gallagher told the crowd the blame was on the Board, not Kinsey.

"I think Dr. Kinsey passed with flying colors, but as a board we have failed the Director and the citizens of Grundy County," Gallagher read. His comments were met with a hearty round of applause.

Then the vote happened.

Five board members voted to accept Kinsey's resignation and buy out her contract for $105,000.

Chairperson Phyllis Lusk was one of those votes. When asked why she voted yes, Lusk answered, "No comment, no comment. Thank you."

Board member Janie Layne voted no. Layne said, "She's doing a fine job. This is a witch hunt. They did run a thing that they would get rid of our director. Our absentees are down, our grades are up. Our kids are happy, this is just a witch hunt."

After the vote, NewsChannel 9 met a former elementary school teacher in the Grundy system. Lauren Floyd feels the upheaval within the board has gone too far. Floyd said, "It's just constant change the director talk. That seems to be what the meetings are all about and to me, as an educator, shouldn't we be focusing on our children?"

Layne added, "I feel sorry for the children of Grundy County and I feel sorry for the taxpayers of Grundy County because they're just throwing our money away."

Chairperson Lusk said a special called meeting will happen Tuesday night to discuss the interim position.

Kinsey started her job back in December 2015.

Depend on us to keep you posted as we learn more.

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