Bill Spurlock has agreed to shorten his contract as Principal of Rutherford County Schools, and on Monday morning his school board approved the contract change.
Under Monday’s agreement, Spurlock will end his contract a year early on June 30.
Spurlock was not present when the vote was taken.
The move finalizes Spurlock’s tenure with one of the fastest growing — and academically successful — public school districts in Tennessee. He led the school district’s education efforts during the worst pandemic in modern times.
The move in front of around 30 community members came weeks after school board members chastised his leadership and behavior as principal of schools.
Spurlock will complete his fourth year leading a district of 49,300 students in 50 county schools, as well as managing 5,800 employees and contractors.
A former Oakland High principal, Spurlock, accepted a promotion to replace retired schools principal Don Odom on July 1, 2018.
In early March, school board members submitted evaluations of Spurlock’s performance to the Tennessee School Boards Association. The document included a litany of critical comments.
“He called many of the board members naïve and tried to bully them.”
“He’s a tyrant.”
Spurlock earns an annual salary of $166,633.
Spurlock’s initial contact was scheduled to run until June 30, 2023. The deal with the board allows him to keep his monthly salary for a year after he leaves the job. He will also be available to assist his replacement after the Board has selected a new director or an interim director, depending on the arrangement.
Spurlock created a virtual school
Before becoming principal in 2018, Spurlock served as principal for about a decade at Oakland High, transforming the school previously designated by state education officials as a high-priority school into a dramatic academic turnaround. Spurlock continued to promote an existing International Baccalaureate program for high-achieving students in Oakland and emphasized career and technical training offerings, including the establishment of mechatronics – technology combining training and certification in electronics and mechanical engineering.
Prior to working in Oakland, Spurlock served as vice principal at Riverdale High.
As principal, Spurlock promoted the CTE and established the Rutherford County Virtual School in 2000. The virtual school began with an initial plan to open in August 2020 with 100 students. Enrollment this school year quadrupled to 433 students on December 7.
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Recent Leaders of Rutherford County Schools
- Hulon Watson: Retired in December 2002 after five years of service
- Harry Gill Jr.: Retired in June 2012 after nine years of service
- Don Odome: Retired in June 2018 after six years of service