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Columbus schools' Phillips top candidate for Tennessee post


Del Phillips

Del Phillips



Dispatch staff



Columbus Schools Superintendent Del Phillips is the top candidate for director of schools in Sumner County, Tenn., a Tennessee newspaper reported. 


The Hendersonville Star News reported that Phillips, 39, was the winner of "a non-binding straw poll" among its school board members. The Tennessee district, located near Nashville, will now draw up a formal contract with Phillips, the newspaper reported. 


Phillips, who has led Columbus schools since 2007, could not be reached for comment this morning. 


The Star news reported that Sumner County School Board Chairman Don Long asked the 11-member school board to participate in "a non-binding straw poll" rather than a formal vote to move forward with hiring Phillips, their top candidate, . 


The board took a non-binding vote because it did not advertise it would be taking a formal vote, the newspaper reported. 


The board members decided by raising their hands to indicate if they were in favor of moving forward negotiating a contract with Phillips. All 11 members raised their hands, indicating yes. 


Long will now negotiate a contract with Phillips, the paper said, assisted by Iowa-based consulting firm Ray and Associates. The contract will then be given to the board for approval. 


A decision on hiring Phillips could be made as early as Monday, Long told the newspaper. 


Phillips is credited with numerous improvements during his tenure as Columbus'' schools chief. He led the drive for a successful school bond issue, which culminated with the opening of the new Columbus Middle School in north Columbus earlier this year. 


Phillips, a Batesville native, has also spearheaded changes to Columbus'' elementary schools, introducing the magnet school concept to schools.




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