HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. -

The search for a new director of schools in Hawkins County has finally come to an end.

After the careful consideration of thirteen candidates, the Hawkins County School Board voted to elevate the assistant director, Steve Starnes to director.

Starnes said, in today's economic climate, one of the biggest challenges will be to retain the best teachers when neighboring systems pay up to ten thousand dollars more.

"It's really a challenge. Obviously we can't make up ten thousand dollars in just a matter of one year or two years or whatever, it's going to be a systematic process that we're going to have to address," Starnes said.

The search actually started back in March and has cost the school system $8,500.