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Looney offered, will accept new job in Tennessee

Superintendent Mike Looney has confirmed he has been offered the position of Director of Schools in Williamson County, Tenn. Williamson County board members voted on Wednesday night in a special called meeting to offer Looney the job and notified him shortly after, he said.

Looney was one of five initial candidates contacted about the position by Ray & Associates, an executive search firm hired by the Williamson County board. Looney first interviewed on Aug. 4, was invited back for a second interview on Aug. 18, and two Williamson County board members visited Butler County on Aug. 27 for an on-site visit to the school district. Board members also visited the former school district of another finalist, Dennis Dearden, in Tucson, Arizona, before making their decision on Wednesday night.

“Obviously, I’m grateful for the decision made by the Williamson County Board of Education tonight,” said Looney. “There’s still obviously a lot of work to do with working out a contract, but my plan is to accept their offer. At the same time I want to express how proud I am in the citizens of Butler County for all of the hard work they have done to help the school district succeed. From the board, to mayors, to the councils, to the county commission, together we have made Butler County a better school district for our children.”

Looney said he notified Butler County BOE President Joseph Lisenby of his decision after receiving the call from Williamson County.

Williamson County school officials confirmed they had offered Looney the job, in a released statement from schools spokesperson Carol Birdsong. The board approved a base salary of $168,000 in addition to a standard benefits package, said Birdsong, and she said the board will now enter into contract negotiations with Looney.

Looney is paid $120,000 as superintendent of Butler County schools.