Cooper: Jill Levine hiring fuels intrigue

Jill Levine interviews for the position of interim superintendent of Hamilton County Schools.

The agreement apparently was sealed for Jill Levine to become a major player in interim schools Superintendent Kirk Kelly's regime, according to various sources, before the two ever left the Hamilton County Board of Education offices after Kelly's election last week.

So much for the transparency Kelly promised in his interview before school board members on April 21.

Levine's hiring Wednesday as the district's chief academic officer - a new position - also skirts discussion and a vote by the board at least until its next meeting. In her new post, she will report directly to Kelly.

District 7 school board member Donna Horn didn't fault the appointment - "great choice, perfect fit" - but, like others, felt "protocol" merited "some kind of [board] discussion."

"I don't like surprises," she said. "And this was one of the main problems before - communication."