Three finalists named in search for next KCS Superintendent

The role originally saw 18 candidates, but officials managed to narrow it down to three over the end of the fall semester.
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 5:21 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2022 at 11:01 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Board of Education narrowed down their superintendent search to three final candidates. The Board discussed the candidates as well as the next steps at Wednesday’s Board of Education Meeting.

Board of Education Narrows Superintendent Search

The Knox Co. Board of Education is narrowing down the search for the next superintendent.

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Knox County’s current superintendent, Bob Thomas, announced his retirement in September of last year via email.

“In discussions with my family over the summer, I made the decision to retire on June 30, 2022,” the email said. “However, due to all the work required to get school started and underway, I thought it best to make my announcement after the school year began. While there is much important work to be done, I wanted to make my plans clear so the Board of Education would have ample time to find the next superintendent for our district.”

The role originally saw 18 candidates, but officials managed to narrow it down to three over the end of the fall semester.

Current Bradley County Director of Schools Dr. Linda Cash is finalist number one.

Dr. Linda Cash is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent.
Dr. Linda Cash is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent.(WVLT)

Cash has classroom teaching experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Classroom teaching experience was one of the top desires of the board of education.

Candidate number two is an internal candidate already part of Knox County Schools; current Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jon Rysewk.

Dr. Jon Rysewyk is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent
Dr. Jon Rysewyk is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent(WVLT)

Rysewyk has knowledge of Knox County Schools, serving the district for more than one decade.

Rysewyk had a daughter graduate from Central High School and currently has one enrolled as a sophomore.

The third candidate is the current Chief School Leadership Officer of Henry County, Georgia Schools, Kirk Shrum.

Kirk Shrum is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent.
Kirk Shrum is a finalist for Knox County Schools Superintendent.(WVLT)

Shrum, in his three-page cover letter, said he has experience in diversity and inclusion practices, something the Knox County Board made clear it was looking for in the next superintendent. Also, Shrum said his experience in a leadership role in Henry County Schools has prepared him to lead a district in a positive direction.

The three candidates were to be notified immediately following the district’s meeting, Wednesday.

The three will be called in for in-person interviews on Feb. 17 and 18.

If the board sticks to a voted-upon schedule, the next superintendent will be announced on March, 14.

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