BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greeneville Board of Education voted on Thursday to uphold charges for termination against a tenured teacher at Greeneville High School based on charges dating as far back as 1999.
Director of Schools Dr. Linda Stroud recommended to the board the dismissal of Melissa Hickerson during the board's monthly meeting, citing "insubordination, inefficiency, incompetence, unprofessional conduct, and general neglect of duty."
The board voted unanimously that, if the charges are true, dismissal is warranted against Hickerson, a tenured special education and homebound teacher for the high school.
The Greeneville Sun was unable to reach her for comment.
Under state law, teachers are eligible for tenure in a local school system after they have served three successful years with good evaluations from their principals.
School Board Chairman Jerry Anderson instructed Stroud to inform Hickerson of the board's decision and tell her that she will have 30 days from the time of her notice, via a certified letter and via first-class U.S. mail, to request a hearing.
Should Hickerson request the hearing, Stroud explained, she will appear before an independent hearing officer who will decide if he or she agrees on upholding the charges.
If the officer does agree to uphold the charges, the director said further appeals are also available to Hickerson.
Several quiet minutes passed following the presentation of the charges to the board as members carefully read through the seven-page document.
A total of 15 incidents were charged in the report, the latest of which was an April 16 court case in which Hickerson allegedly "plead [sic] guilty to Reckless Endangerment and was placed on one-year probation."
According to The Greeneville Sun's records, these charges were filed under Hickerson's maiden name, Melissa Dawn Michael.