Bill Spurlock’s Employment Status as Head of Rutherford County Schools


Bill Spurlock has agreed to shorten his contract as Principal of Rutherford County Schools, and on Monday morning his school board approved the contract change.

Under Monday’s agreement, Spurlock will end his contract a year early on June 30.

Spurlock was not present when the vote was taken.

The move finalizes Spurlock’s tenure with one of the fastest growing — and academically successful — public school districts in Tennessee. He led the school district’s education efforts during the worst pandemic in modern times.

The move in front of around 30 community members came weeks after school board members chastised his leadership and behavior as principal of schools.

Spurlock previously managed 49,300 students at 50 county schools, as well as the school district’s 5,800 employees and contractors.

A former Oakland High principal, Spurlock, accepted a promotion to replace retired schools principal Don Odom on July 1, 2018.

In early March, school board members submitted evaluations of Spurlock’s performance. The document included a litany of critical comments.

“He called many of the board members naïve and tried to bully them.”

“He’s a tyrant.”

Spurlock earns an annual salary of $166,633.

Spurlock’s initial contact was scheduled to continue through June 30, 2023.

Spurlock created a virtual school

Before becoming principal in 2018, Spurlock served as principal for about a decade at Oakland High, transforming the school previously designated by state education officials as a high-priority school into a dramatic academic turnaround. Spurlock continued to promote an existing International Baccalaureate program for high-achieving students in Oakland and emphasized career and technical training offerings, including the establishment of mechatronics – technology combining training and certification in electronics and mechanical engineering.

Prior to working in Oakland, Spurlock served as vice principal at Riverdale High.

The virtual school started with an initial plan to open in August 2020 with 100 students. Enrollment this school year quadrupled to 433 students on December 7.

Contact reporter Scott Broden with news tips or questions by emailing [email protected] or calling 615-278-5158. Follow him on Twitter @ScottBroden.

Recent Leaders of Rutherford County Schools

  • Hulon Watson: Retired in December 2002 after five years of service
  • Harry Gill Jr.: Retired in June 2012 after nine years of service
  • Don Odome: Retired in June 2018 after six years of service

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