WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Officials with the Washington County, Tennessee Board of Education voted Monday afternoon on a term of contract for incoming Director of Schools Jerry Boyd.

Boyd’s contract will start April 5, 2021 and last through June 30, 2024 with a salary if $140,000 per year.

According to the school board’s vice-chair, Mike Masters, Boyd has an opportunity for performance bonuses after his first year. His salary does not include a car or any other allowance and Boyd is not included when teachers get raises.

The decision to start Boyd’s contract earlier than anticipated- something Masters says came from current director, Dr. Bill Flanary.

“It really was his idea to get Mr. Boyd on board because of the budget and the Esser money to be spent,” said Masters.

As state and federal Covid relief or Esser money rolls in with budget season and hiring underway Flanary said his replacement needs to have a hand in upcoming decisions.

“Esser 3 for Washington County Schools is nearly $12 million,” Flanary said. “All of that has to be planned by the first of June and with everything else that’s going on, it just made sense to go ahead and get Dr. Boyd into the superintendent’s chair so that he can get started for the next school year.”

Flanary, is set to retire on June 30 but wanted the new director of schools to be able to start as quickly as possible.

“People talked about how challenging this school year was…next year’s a challenging year,” said Flanary. “Next year- all indicators are things will sort of kind of be back to normal and the real work of closing this gap, particularly our younger kids, our young readers, that’s when it starts.”

According to Monday’s board meeting agenda, Flanary will also receive an “honorarium” of $1,400 as a token of the board’s appreciation for his service.

Flanary will still officiate graduation ceremonies and be available as needed through the transition, according to board members.

Pictured: Jerry Boyd

While determining where the system stands post-Covid, Boyd says his first priority is connecting with those in the community.

“It’s hard to identify the areas that might need to be strengthened from the data,” Boyd said. “You have to listen to those who are doing the work and make decisions not just from the numbers but also the context of those numbers and that’s where connecting in the first several weeks or months will be very important.”

After that, it’s moving on past the pandemic.

“The reality is there have been missed opportunities for learning but I know our teachers- no matter what the format that they’ve had to use… that they’ve been working hard, probably harder than they’ve worked their whole careers with the challenges they’ve faced,” he said.

Boyd will be coming from Middle Tennessee where he worked at the Tennessee Department of Education in Nashville as the assistant commissioner for standards and materials and district operations.

Boyd previously served as the director of schools in Putnam County.