LUMBERTON — Tommy Lowry’s three-year contract for the superintendent position for the Public Schools of Robeson County is expected to be finalized at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night.
Lowry was offered the position after Rick Watkins, a longtime educator who was initially offered the job, withdrew his candidacy through a letter to the board. Mike Smith, board chairman, presented the letter to the board and the public at an emergency personnel meeting on Thursday at 9 a.m.
The board has declined to provide the letter to The Robesonian and, when contacted, Watkins declined to comment on his decision to withdraw. His decision came after some board members were critical of him during an open session of the board on July 28.
Five board members voted Thursday in favor of offering Lowry a three-year contract that would expire June 30, 2018, while four supported a motion to reopen the search for a candidate to replace Johnny Hunt, who retired on July 1.
A split board voted on July 28 to offer Watkins the position, with Smith breaking a tie in his favor. On Thursday, board members who had opposed Watkins’ appointment voted in support of Lowry. Bosco Locklear, who originally supported Watkins, flipped his vote in Lowry’s favor.
The board will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the central office of the Public Schools of Robeson County.
In other business, the Board of Education on Tuesday will:
— Hear a report on the Back to School Celebration, which took place Thursday, from Lowry and parent organizer Amy Haigler.
— Learn about the Fruit and Vegetable Grant from Lowry.
— Learn about the Learners to Leaders program from Linda Emanuel.
— Receive an update about paving at Purnell Swett High School from Shanita Wooten and Maintenance Director Earney Hammonds.
— Hold a closed session to discuss student transfers, certified and classified personnel and legal issues.
Gabrielle can be reached at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @news_gabbie.