Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel has accepted a contract buyout, ending his seven-year tenure with the school district on March 1, 2015.

Here is a condensed text of McDaniel's statement, issued on Friday afternoon: 

I want to thank the people of Bradley County who have demonstrated an outpouring of support for the good work we have done in Bradley County Schools during these past eight years.  It has been a joy for me to work with the school board in serving the children, parents, teachers and staff of this outstanding school system.

Over the past two years, it has become clear to me that I do not share a common philosophical view of public education, instructional support, and teacher benefits with several of the current school board members.  In my role as Superintendent, to be effective, I must stand with a majority of our school board, and they with me.  It has become apparent to me that this is not the situation under which I work with at this time.

I have come to believe that it is in the best interest of all concerned for me to leave Bradley County Schools.  I accept this buyout agreement for the remainder of my contract.  I want a smooth and orderly transition between my leadership and a new director of schools.  It has been a privilege to work with great schools, leaders, teachers and support staff, and I want the very best for all of them.  I want our children to be successful learners every day, and to ultimately graduate from high school "college and career ready"- ready for their next steps in life as productive and responsible citizens.

I thank the many supporters of public education in our Bradley County Community. 

McDaniel was named Tennessee Superintendent of the Year in 2013.  He was selected for the position in 2008, replacing Bob Taylor, who had announced his retirement.  McDaniel was chosen in a 5-2 vote, with Walker Valley High principal Danny Coggin receiving two votes.  Coggin has been mentioned by some as a potential replacement for McDaniel.

The school board is expected to approve the buyout agreement.  Chairman Nicholas Lillios told Eyewitness News last week, "The cost of a buyout is the cost of doing business."  According to the agreement, McDaniel will continue to receive his salary and other benefits through June 30, 2016.

McDaniel's annual salary is listed as $118,285. During the sixteen months remaining on his contract, he would be paid $157,713.  The buyout proposal came under fire from some Bradley County Commissioners, citing a school system already struggling for funds to rebuild and maintain deteriorating facilities.