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Orr leaves district employment to serve Powell County Schools

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By Kacie Goode

Anthony Orr is no longer an employee of Nelson County Schools after accepting an interim superintendent position in another county.

Orr has taken a position as interim superintendent for Powell County Schools, according to an announcement from the Powell County Board of Education, which hosted a public meet-and-greet Thursday night to introduce Orr. The Clay City Times, a newspaper covering the Powell County area, reported that Powell County Schools Superintendent Michael Tate resigned effective Jan. 1 after 35 years in education.

Nelson district officials confirmed Wednesday that Orr had resigned from Nelson County Schools effective Dec. 27. His contract with the district had allowed him to remain a tenured employee following his resignation as superintendent in July.

Working as the director of process, research and improvement, Orr’s described duties were “doing research on securing performance-based SEEK funding for the district.” Tom Brown, who was appointed interim superintendent after Orr stepped down, said there has been no decision at this time whether or not that position will be filled now that Orr has left.

Orr resigned as superintendent for Nelson County Schools at the end of the school year following public scrutiny over classroom issues, teacher turnover, school safety and other matters. Despite the public calling for his ousting, board attorney Terry Geoghegan said there were no legal grounds for Orr’s dismissal and when he resigned, his contract maintained his right to remain as a tenured, certified employee. Orr remaining as a district employee, however, was a source of new complaints, including at least one complaint made to the state questioning the legality of Orr’s new position with the district.

Nelson County Schools is in the process of searching for a permanent superintendent, and applications will be accepted through Feb. 26. Applications can be submitted at kasa.org under the Resources banner.

Per an agreement between Nelson County Schools and Orr — which was amended last month — if Orr is no longer employed by the district and leaves the district prior to Jan. 1, 2018, he will be provided $25,000 in relocation expenses.