Parents upset over recent hire of Limestone County Superintendent’s daughter, school system responds

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. -- Johnson Elementary School parents are upset over a recent hire within Limestone County Schools. Katherine Ikerman, daughter of Limestone County School's Superintendent Tom Sisk, was hired Tuesday as a special education teacher.

The move has parents concerned that the Board of Education approved her hiring because of her relation to her father and felt there were better-qualified candidates.

Tara Bachus, Director of Special Education for Limestone County Schools, said, "We went through the process and it has worked for me for the last 10 years. We go through the applicants, we interview the applicants, we have multiple people involved."

Bachus says Ikerman just happens to be Superintendent Sisk's daughter. "She has been a long time sub in Limestone County Schools. She filled in for two months in the autism program when the other teacher was going on maternity leave. She has filled in for behavioral programs across Limestone County," she said. "When she put in her application to sub while going to college, she asked for those units to learn more. That's where her heart is."

One of the parents at the school says this is not about attacking Ikerman's character. She says there was a temporary teacher in the classroom after the other teacher left. The temporary teacher, who Ikerman filled in for, was great with the students and feels like she should have been brought on full time.

Even though Ikerman is a recent college graduate, Bachus said the committee still believes she is the best fit. "The thing people are focusing on is not going forward and we want to go forward and be positive. Just because her dad is the superintendent you know is unfair to her and we are thrilled to have her."

Bachus added she could not talk about the specifics of why Ikerman was the better candidate to WHNT, but is willing to talk to parents and address their concerns.

Bachus says she is limited in how much information she's allowed to release but said in the 10 years she has held her position, the process of choosing the right applicant has been 'above par.'