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Rick Duffer Selected for New Director of Schools

By Mark Darnell

At a special called meeting of the Macon County Board of Education on Friday April 22nd  they selected Rick Duffer to be the next Director of Schools for Macon County.

As laid out at their previous meeting the board conducted a second round of interviews with four candidates on Thursday April 14th at Macon County High School.

Chairman Hix called the meeting to order following a prayer by Mr. Borders and the pledge of allegiance.

Mr. Case then addressed the board in looking at salary versus compensation. He felt that in the last round of interviews some candidates indicated salary requests versus total compensation packages. 

Currently the board pays for health insurance, social security, and other line items above the salary paid to the Director. When totaling the approximate requests for each candidate the board agreed that they would roughly be the following: Petett $135,000, Carter $147,000, Gammons $153,000, and Duffer $155,000.

Chairman Hix then gave each board member the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on the process and/or each candidate interviewed. Following a discussion by each board member Chairman Hix made a motion for each member to attach their name to a ballot and select their choice for the position. The votes were read as follows: Mr. Borders- Duffer, Mr. Case-Duffer, Mr. Likens-Duffer, Mr. Marsh-Carter, and Mr. Hix-Carter.

Mr. Case then made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Borders, to accept the results of the ballot. The motion passed on a roll call vote 4-1 with Mr. Marsh voting no.

With the selection process concluded Mr. Case made a motion to adjourn which was seconded by Mr. Borders.

Rick Duffer is currently the Principal of Westmoreland High School. He holds a Bachelors Degree from Cumberland University (1992), a Masters from Tennessee State University (1997) in Administration and Supervision, and an Education Specialist Degree from Tennessee Tech University (2007) in Administration and Supervision.

He graduated from Westmoreland High School and began his teaching career at his alma mater in 1992 as a high school teacher and coach. In 2005 he was selected as the head of the Freshman Academy at Beech High School and served in that position from 2005 until 2009. He then was the Principal of the Portland East Middle School (Grades 6-8) from 2009 until 2011. He has served in his current position since 2011.

“I understand that we are all in this together. It is a big process and I am just one part of it,” Duffer said. “This will be a team effort and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work. I just hope I can bring my roughly 30 years of experience to Macon County and hope the students here can benefit from us all working together.”

Mr. Duffer is married to his wife, Chantel (Lyles) Duffer, who teaches as an elementary school teacher in Westmoreland and has two sons, Patrick who is an assistant principal at Station Camp High School and Logan who is a lineman employed with the City of Gallatin.