MOUNT VERNON — Like some community members, Knox County Career Center engineering drafting instructor Steve Jefferson is frustrated because he was not allowed to speak in open session at Thursday’s board meeting, in spite of submitting a written request per board policy. He was invited to speak in closed session, but he declined.
“They made statements about me last month in open session,” he explained, “and I wanted to at least address those statements. I’m disappointed. I wanted to be able to address those statements under the same conditions that they were delivered. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Jefferson did submit a written statement to the KCCC school board.
Contrary to the board president’s November statement that Jefferson “would not go out and recruit students to build his program up,” Jefferson told the News he did participate in recruiting activities such as open houses and talking with home school parents. In fact, in an evaluation dated March 14, 2011, KCCC director Robert Kirk, then a supervisor, wrote on Jefferson’s performance evaluation, “Mr. Jefferson has worked hard to expand and improve the Drafting/Engineer program. ... has worked hard to establish a program that is well respected.”
In December, Jefferson was actually suspended for three days without pay for sending students to the Mount Vernon Middle School’s Career Day to recruit and publicize the program. Kirk had previously denied permission for engineering drafting to participate in career day activities.