By David Carroll

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- For the past several weeks, Hamilton County Schools Human Resources Director Stacy Stewart has been consoling principals and teachers about painful budget cuts.  Last week, Ms. Stewart learned that she is among the casualties.

Ms. Stewart's position, one of the director positions in the Human Resources Office, has been eliminated as part of "ongoing budget constraints," according to Communications Director Danielle Clark.  According to 2009-10 records, the position pays $91,666 annually.

Ms. Stewart has held the position for five years, after having been a teacher, coach, assistant principal at Red Bank Middle, and eventually principal at Brown Middle School.  She had briefly held the position of principal at Loftis Middle School in the summer of 2005 before being transferred to the Central Office.  She will become principal of Red Bank Middle School in July, at a similar salary, replacing the retiring Katie O'Brien.

In the HR department, her duties included screening and hiring new teachers, as well as making sure teachers were licensed and qualified for their subject areas.  She was also involved in training new teachers and substitute teachers, and investigating charges of misconduct or misbehavior involving school personnel.

She says she will miss her position, but told Eyewitness News, "These are tough times.  In education, and in all other fields, less people are having to do more work.  We just have to band together to get it done, and I know the remaining people in my department will step up and get it done.  I was the least senior director, so I understand the moves they have to make."