Tenn. Valley's longest-running school superintendent retires - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tenn. Valley's longest-running school superintendent retires

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Sharon and Johnny Cordell Sharon and Johnny Cordell
Friends attend Cordell retirement lunch Friends attend Cordell retirement lunch
Cordell with other school administrators Cordell with other school administrators
Cordell with board chair Charlie Rollins & family members Cordell with board chair Charlie Rollins & family members
Sequatchie Co. High hosted Cordell lunch Sequatchie Co. High hosted Cordell lunch
DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) -

After a 41-year career in education, Sequatchie County Director of Schools Johnny Cordell is retiring at the end of June.  Friends and family turned out at Sequatchie County High School for a "roast and toast" celebration.

Cordell served as director of the county school system for 20 years, the longest tenure in the Tennessee Valley. He said he was proud of advancements in personnel, facilities, and academics during his time in office.

Cordell holds degrees from MTSU, the University of West Florida and Tennessee Tech.  He and his wife of 46 years, Sharon, are both graduates of Sequatchie County High. 

He was a Naval aviator with the Marine Corps during the Vietnam war, serving overseas in 1971-72 in the Indochina Theater of Operations.  After a brief stint with the CIA, he was a flight instructor for the Navy in Pensacola, Florida.

He began his education career in Florida where he taught for two years before returning to Sequatchie County as a teacher-coach in 1976.  Although he spent only a few years in the classroom, he held almost every administrative job in the central office before becoming superintendent in 1995.  Cordell said he is leaving the school system in good shape, and hopes to do more traveling in retirement.  No replacement has been named.

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