UPDATE: Cleveland City Schools names Goodman as interim director
Newly-appointed interim Director Cathy Goodman
Dr. Martin Ringstaff (WRCB file)
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The special-called Cleveland City Schools Board of Education meeting began quickly Monday with the order of business to hire an interim school director after firing Dr. Martin Ringstaff Friday.
The first name mentioned was Cathy Goodman, who is currently the second in command in the school system. The motion to appoint Goodman passed unanimously with very little discussion. Details of pay, and extra help for her current position were discussed and she was granted the authority to add a position.
"Cathy's second in command now, she makes very critical decisions along with Dr. Ringstaff or the superintendent so she's in the loop, and that's important," said Board Chair Dawn Robinson.
Goodman served as the Assistant Director of Schools/Director of Personnel since 2011. She has 38 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal, and supervisor and started working for Cleveland City Schools in 2002 as the Supervisor of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction.
She says she's willing to do whatever the school board asks, but makes it clear she doesn't want to keep the position permanently.
"I love what I do, but I have also worked very closely with the Director of Schools and in the Director's absence I step in for that position so for those reasons I'm certainly willing to do this on the temporary basis." Goodman said.
The school board will increase her salary to match what Ringstaff was making while she's taking on the two positions. They also gave Goodman the authority to add another position to make sure construction of the new Cleveland High School arena stays on track and is ready for this year's graduation.
There's been a number of big changes for the Cleveland community in just a week's time, "People have been very opinionated of what we should do or shouldn't have done but it's been very supportive, for all of us," Robinson said.
The school district hopes this is the first step in moving forward.
"We're at that point where we're just focusing on where we go from here which is not backward it's forward," Goodman said.
The school board has a lot of work ahead of them. They're hoping to meet within the next few weeks to decide on a time line for filling the position.
Goodman says she hopes to fill the position by July 1st, but it all depends on how the search goes for the right candidate.
Robinson said she hasn't spoken to or heard from Ringstaff since the board voted to fire him. We asked if there was an active investigation into finding the identity of the woman involved in the messages, to see if she is holds a position with the school, and Robinson said they were not doing so currently.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education members will be meeting this morning at 7:30 a.m. to appoint an interim director of schools.
Former director Martin Ringstaff was fired on Friday. The decision to remove Ringstaff follows allegations of sexually explicit messages exchanged between Ringstaff and an unidentified woman.
Ringstaff originally denied the allegations, then admitted to sending and receiving a number graphic and sexual text messages with the woman.
The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education recently extended Ringstaff's contract through to 2019, at a salary of $140, 000 a year, just days before the controversy came to light.
This is a developing story. Stick with Channel 3 as we work to bring you the latest details.