Hiring decision results in debate


Kolton Dudley, Staff Photographer

Working is one of my favorite things to do. I have been working here at the school for several months and it has been one of the best experiences to have. Operations Director, Mr. Brian Rightnowar is one of the hardest working staff members here. It seems nobody works quite as hard as he does. Sure, his job is mostly a lot of common sense, but it’s not the easiest job, and a lot of people come to him if a maintenance project is in need of attention.

Mr. Rightnowar is one of the best here at MV which includes the main campus and east campus. 

When Mr. Rightnowar reported to the Board and Superintendant Mrs. Melanie Andrews he was going to retire,it created a job opening. While Mr. Rightnowar was out this year for vacations and medical leave, Mr. Tim Lewis filled in and did a wonderful job. Mr. Lewis applied for this job right before Christmas. Mr. Lewis filled in for Mr. Rightnowar starting sometime at the beginning of November, but overall has been doing this job for roughly three years. Among doing s day-to-day projects, Mr. Lewis also worked on many areas that were in need of being completed. When MV had bollards placed at the front of the gymnasium, Mr. Lewis immediately went out to get measurements so he could make covers for them so the bollards could be removed to allow access to authorized vehicles. 

During Christmas break, Mr. Lewis came in to check up on things and had found that two out of three boilers were down and they were bringing a negative eight degree air, which was colder than it was outside that day. Upon examination he also found that four coils were broken and a pipe burst in Mrs. Cherie Rogier’s room. The four days he was supposed to have off for Christmas, December 23, 24, 25, 26, he logged thirty-nine hours. He came in on Christmas and temporarily repaired the boilers until the contractors came in to replace broken parts and to go back to its peak performance. Had he (Mr. Lewis) not gotten here when he did, we would have lost the third boiler. 

Everyone in Operations, the kitchen, and several staff members thought that Mr. Lewis had the job because of his experience. A hiring committee came together and selected Mr. Justin Timmons as there recommendation. At the next Board meeting, Board members voted for the position, Director of Facilities. At the start of the board meeting it was opened up to public comment. Mr. John Stebbins stated saying, “The District not Hiring Tim Lewis was one of the biggest travesties that I have seen at the district.”  

Mr. Lewis had several letters of recommendation, three from beloved staff. John Kabat, Jamey VanZandt, and Mary Beth Mezo. “You might as well have told them that their words meant nothing.” Mr. Stebbins stated.

A group came out in support of Mr. Tim Lewis because we knew that he was the right person for that job. I believe that Mount Vernon High School passed over a great man by not hiring Tim Lewis.