The longest-running school superintendent in the Tennessee Valley will apparently be succeeded by his longtime assistant director.  Michael L. (Pete) Swafford is the choice to replace Johnny Cordell, who steps down on June 30 after 20 years on the job.

Board members voted Tuesday to enter into contract negotiations with Swafford, with final approval expected on Thursday.  Swafford is a South Pittsburg native, who has held a variety of positions in Sequatchie County since 1977.  

He started as a teacher/coach at Sequatchie Middle (then Junior High), and later coached softball and basketball at Sequatchie High, winning a state softball title in 1990.  Since moving to the central office in 1995, he has served as director of transportation and attendance, and has been Cordell's assistant director since 2001.

Cordell said, "I've told them I will help with the transition in any way, but Pete knows the job.  He may not need my help."  Swafford said, "I've been fortunate to work with Johnny in one capacity or another for a long time, from assistant coach to assistant director of schools.  I don't believe I'll be serving twenty years like he did, but I'm looking forward to working with the teachers and students here."