Miskelly’s place in history is established because he was the first-ever director of schools appointed by the school board. The school board made him the surprise choice as director of schools over incumbent Judy Turner in 2001.
The long-time educator came to McNairy County as an assistant principal at McNairy Central High School after retiring in Mississippi. Miskelly had worked for both the Alcorn School District and the Corinth School District as teacher, coach and administrator prior to moving across the state line. This is his 42nd year in education.
“I’ve had a very good time working in McNairy County and I just believe this is the best time for me to announce that I would resign in December,” said Miskelly. “This will give the next director of schools time to evaluate personnel and work on a budget for next year.”
Miskelly, who will turn 63 on Aug. 29, said he told the school board members just prior to Thursday’s meeting about his resignation plans. He made it clear he was not announcing his retirement.
His contract was scheduled to end on June 30, 2014 and he had made it fairly clear in the past it was likely his last contract with the school system.
He came to work as assistant principal at McNairy Central in 1998 and stayed there for two years prior to the school board appointing him as director of schools. His tenure as the leader of the school system is now past 13 years and into his 14th school year.
The school board created controversy on Oct. 14, 2010 when they voted to fire Miskelly. A tremendous amount of support from county residents caused the board to reverse their decision and rehire him to his old job two weeks later.
Miskelly admits now he had planned on stepping down later that year had he not been dismissed as director of schools. The show of support from the people resulted in him staying three more years as the director of schools.
“The people’s response was a big highlight for me,” said Miskelly.
While his health has not been great in recent years, Miskelly said there were no new medical problems that caused him to resign. He will finish out the first semester in his present position.
The budget cuts the past two years has made the job of running the school system even tougher for the school administrator.
“These were the most cuts I have made since I have been the director of schools,” commented Miskelly. “It is never a positive for education when you have to make so many cuts in the schools.”
Miskelly said he did not focus on problems with board members or county commissioners, but his goal was to make sure the students in McNairy County had a clean and safe learning environment in the schools.
“I’ve enjoyed my time working in McNairy County,” said Miskelly. “I’ve made some great friends in and out of the schools. There are some really good people who live in this county.”