published Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Tyner Middle teacher will appeal termination


by Kelli Gauthier

A former special education teacher from Tyner Middle Academy will appeal her termination Thursday before the Hamilton County Board of Education.

After Superintendent Jim Scales fired Wendy Tippens, she appealed the decision with a hearing officer, in this case, former Chattanooga City Judge Walter Williams, said school system spokeswoman Danielle Clark.

Williams upheld Scales’ decision. Tippens is now taking her case to the board Thursday.

During a negotiation session between the school system and the Hamilton County Education Association Tuesday, members of the teachers’ union brought up concerns over what they considered the questionable impartiality of the hearing officers, who all were chosen by board attorney Scott Bennett.

When asked if Tippens’ case prompted the conversation, HCEA President Sharon Vandagriff said, “I guess it did.”

“We do want to make sure whomever serves on that impartial hearing panel is someone who is not biased,” she said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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