Hamilton County School Board Members Say Next Superintendent Should Continue Strategic Plan

November 23 – In a virtual community town hall, Hamilton County School Board President Tucker McClendon and Vice President Tiffanie Robinson said the next district superintendent should build on the Future Ready 2023 plan and should have some classroom experience.

Robinson, who was on the board during the last superintendent search, said a candidate with some classroom experience would go a long way, and the late Superintendent Bryan Johnson – who worked as a teacher and administrator before the superintendent – was a prime example.

“What I’ve learned over the past five years in the school board is that actually classroom experience is very important, and it’s all relative,” Robinson said at Monday’s forum. . “It will definitely increase the respect they receive from their employees and the leadership capacity they can add to our district.”

McClendon said it depends on how long a candidate has worked in the classroom, and each candidate’s academic leadership experience played a valuable role as well.

The top three nominees have all held leadership positions in their respective districts. Christopher Bernier is Chief of Staff for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Jermaine Dawson is Academic Officer and Head of School Accountability for the City of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama.

Justin Robertson, the only internal candidate, is the acting deputy superintendent of schools in Hamilton County.

Robinson and McClendon both said they wanted a superintendent who would continue work on the district’s Future Ready 2023 strategic plan and move it forward.

“It’s important to note that we still have Future 2023, and this strategic plan has pushed us to where we are today, and I think it’s important that a new leader comes in and builds on that and continues towards those goals that are in there, but also has the ability to move forward beyond 2023 and what our next strategic plan will look like, what our new goals look like, how do we continue to surpass ourselves McClendon said.

He said focusing on the backlog of operational needs, such as the plan to build a new Tyner Middle / High School, was another quality he was looking for in the next superintendent, while Robinson said a The quality she was looking for was for the superintendent to continue to focus on equitable access to education throughout the district.

Interviews for the top three candidates will begin next week, starting with Bernier on November 30, then Dawson on December 2 and Robertson on December 7. Each will take place at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the school system’s YouTube channel.

Bernier will be in town November 29-30, followed by Dawson on December 1-2, and Robertson on December 6-7. During their visits, McClendon said each candidate would visit four or five schools and arrange a meeting with the community before their interviews.

The board will choose the next superintendent on December 9, with a start date of January 1.

A candidate who has withdrawn his name, Jim McIntyre of the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, was announced Tuesday as the new dean of Belmont University’s College of Education in Nashville.

McIntyre was the only finalist among nominees with previous superintendent experience, leading Knox County schools for eight years.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at [email protected] or at 423-757-6592.


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