Monroe Co. Schools names DeAnna McClendon director amid concerns

Monroe Co. Director of Schools Candidate DeAnna McClendon/(WVLT)
Monroe Co. Director of Schools Candidate DeAnna McClendon/(WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Jun. 20, 2019 at 10:04 PM EDT
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named their new Director of Schools on Thursday evening.

DeAnna McClendon was named the new Monroe County Schools Director of Schools on June 20 despite ongoing concerns about her suitability for the position. She was Director of Early Childhood Programs for Shelby County Schools in Memphis. In that role she oversaw more than 5,000 students and handled a budget of $50 million.

The district there placed her on paid leave back in April, according to

.

When asked why she was on leave, the district wouldn't elaborate. They released the following statement: "Shelby County Schools does our due diligence to assure all allegations/complaints are thoroughly reviewed or investigated. However, generally we do not provide details during an active investigation."

On Thursday night, a board member asked for the Monroe County Director of Schools decision to be put off until "we get some things cleared up." The same board member posed that they should nominate another person, Tim Blankenship, to take over the position on a "month-to-month" basis until the "investigation" was over. No one seconded her motion.

Another board member made a motion to have Blankenship keep the Director of Schools position for a year, until "things" could be cleared up; however, the motion failed, and heated discussion continued for several minutes, before the board ultimately voted in McClendon as the new director.

WREG dug through McClendon's personnel file with the Shelby County district. They found that McClendon was placed on paid leave back in May of 2017. Shelby Co. cited an anonymous letters as the reason for the leave.

You can watch the full board meeting below.

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