Coverstone edged three veteran educators for charter schools job

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 12:05am

Former Board of Education member Alan Coverstone resigned his board seat last month, on the grounds that he was asking to be considered for a school district job overseeing charter schools. Several days later, Metro Nashville Public Schools announced that Coverstone had been hired for the job.

Just one business day before he resigned from the board, Coverstone told The City Paper that he hadn’t yet decided whether to apply for the charter schools position. Coverstone said at the time that he wanted to find out whether the position attracted suitable candidates before making his own decision.

According to information obtained from MNPS in a public records request, three candidates in addition to Coverstone were considered for the job prior to his hiring. The group includes Mary Chambers, an MNPS administrator and former principal who currently serves as discipline administrator for the Metro Schools student services department; Don Hessler, a former charter school assistant principal and past administrator for districts in Florida and California; and Danielle Kaminsky, a current administrator at the Murfreesboro City School District.

MNPS officials say two other individuals applied for the job, but their materials weren’t considered, as the applications were submitted after the job posting was removed from the MNPS Web site. The original posting stated that the position would remain open until the identification of a candidate, a procedure that is in line with what MNPS human resources chief June Keel described Tuesday as a typical practice for administrative hires.

The job is at the executive director level of MNPS administration, which typically carries a salary in the range of $88,000 to $103,000, according to MNPS spokesperson Noelle Mashburn.

According to the district’s job description for the position, the 12-month administrative job would involve managing the charter school application process and overseeing regulatory requirements for compliance, as well as working with the Tennessee Department of Education and as a liaison between charter schools, private schools and MNPS.

Coverstone comes to the district from working full-time as an administrator at Montgomery Bell Academy. In his one year of work on the board, Coverstone has worked to be an advocate for charter schools. He served on a working group that, several months ago, proposed a slate of changes to district charter school policies that included the establishment of the position he’s been hired to fill. Coverstone’s first day on the job at MNPS is next Monday.

Hopefuls line up to replace Coverstone on board

Meanwhile, eight contenders have officially asked to take Coverstone’s place on the school board. Coverstone’s seat represents District 9, which includes Bellevue and parts of Belle Meade. The deadline to apply for the job was yesterday.

Read more about the candidates,
and view their applications and resumes.

Chambers.pdf182.17 KB
Coverstone.pdf112.74 KB
Hessler.pdf256.97 KB
Kaminsky.pdf316.01 KB

8 Comments on this post:

By: dogmrb on 7/14/09 at 11:17

Don't know the two outside candidates but this was not a job that Mary Chambers had any credentials or experience to do.

By: imdyinhere on 7/15/09 at 5:22

Coverstone doesn't seem to be any less qualified than others, if only because being a charter school VP under Jeb Bush really might not count, y'know?

By: imdyinhere on 7/15/09 at 5:24

But there's a larger question: why are there so few highly-qualified applicants?

By: Birke on 7/15/09 at 5:28

I find it a bit disconcerting when a board member essentially created his new position. Oh he resigned a few days before. Big deal! He is also not the first to do so. I don't think it is a reasonable business practice.

By: sidneyames on 7/15/09 at 6:39

birke, politics overrides experience. He knew when he resigned that he was getting the job; that's why he resigned. And this sentence baffles me: "The original posting stated that the position would remain open until the identification of a candidate, a procedure that is in line with what MNPS human resources chief June Keel described Tuesday as a typical practice for administrative hires." So why didn't they accept the 2 "so-called late applicants"? Maybe they were qualified for the job.

By: eddoctor on 7/15/09 at 8:20

By: Birke on 7/15/09 at 11:06

Looking at both the resumés on line with this article and the what was in the Tennessean today. I am dismayed that Cornerstone got the job. He hasn't the experience or educational background. His masters at Wake Forest he has yet to receive and doubtfully will receive if he never completed his thesis that many years from starting his Masters and in the paper, it cites that he as a Masters from University of Phoenix. This can only mean that he obtained his Masters at one of the "business higher education institutions that have been under fire for their rate of graduation, placement etc. I am certain, that the the real search for a candidate never took place and I feel the other candidates based on resumés are equally and some more qualified and should have been interviewed. But of course as syndeyames points out the position was already his.

By: nashvillereader on 7/15/09 at 5:19

This is a clear case of public corruption! It's illegal to make a job for yourself, be the only person interviewed, and take it! Where the hell is the ethics investigation? His "job" will cost the taxpayer more than 1 million in 10 years - what is going here - where's the outrage?