The board will interview finalists and is expected to vote on its choice on Feb. 22.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox County’s nine school board members received names and recommendations Wednesday night for the finalists in line to become the next superintendent.
The months-long process is about to accelerate, with the Knox County Board of Education likely to pick a new leader at its Feb. 22 meeting.
It met at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building downtown. You can watch educators discuss the candidates in the video below.
The search firm returned three finalists for the board to choose from.
One candidate was Jon Rysewyk, Knox County Schools assistant superintendent and chief academic officer.
Another finalist was Dr. Linda Cash, who serves as the superintendent of Bradley County Schools, near Cleveland, Tennessee. It has a population of 9,400 students and she served as a teacher in various states for 18 years.
And the last finalist was Mr. Kirk Shrum, who works in Henry County Schools with around 43,000 students. He was a former principal in Fulton County Schools in Georgia and worked in Hamilton County in Tennessee in the past. He has 9 years of experience as a teacher.
Interviews are planned for next week. The board is expected to use a list of recommended questions from the search firm and asked candidates to prepare a 20-minute presentation addressing those questions ahead of their interviews.
Superintendent Bob Thomas announced last year he’d retire at the end of this school year. The board has agreed to offer a base salary of $250,000 for the next leader of the system that consists of some 60,000 students.
KCS is the third-largest public system in the state.
The Tennessee School Boards Association has been screening and reviewing potential candidates to help the board. At least 18 people applied, including a handful of educators from Tennessee.
Others who have expressed an interest in the job, as previously reported, are listed below. Officials with the firm said one applicant received a job in Florida and two withdrew with no reason provided.
The list of previous candidates are below:
- Jeff Perry, superintendent of schools in Hamblen County
- Christopher Bernier, chief of staff, Clark County, Nev., School District, Las Vegas
- Gregory Brown, division superintendent, Russell County Public Schools, Lebanon, Va.
- Jharrett Bryantt, executive officer and assistant superintendent, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
- Joseph Centamore, deputy superintendent, South Huntington School District, Huntington Station, N.Y.
- Vincent Colaluca, executive director, Hamilton Clermont Cooperative (Information Technology Center), Loveland, Ohio.
- Jerry Gibson, superintendent, Galveston Independent School District, Galveston, Texas
- David Hicks, superintendent, Bremen City Schools, Bremen, Ga.
- Randy Mahlerwein, assistant superintendent of secondary schools, Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, Ariz.
- Amy Rex, superintendent, Milton Town School District, Milton, Vt.
- Kirk Shrum, chief school leadership officer, Henry County Schools, McDonough, Ga.
- Adam Steel, superintendent, SAU No. 39 – Amherst, Mont Vernon, and Souhegan Cooperative School Districts, Amherst, N.H.
- John Tucker, superintendent, Camden County Schools, Kingsland, Ga.
Other Tennessee names on the list: James “Chip” Gray, principal, Paris Special School District, Paris, Tenn.; Joseph Miller, physical education teacher, Morgan County Schools, Coalfield, Tenn.; Bobby Wells, teacher, West Valley Middle School, Knox County Schools.
Thomas announced last fall he planned to retire at the end of this school year. He’s been with KCS for nearly 50 years. He’s been superintendent since spring 2017.