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Hamilton Co. BOE releases candidate list for interim superintendent

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The deadline to submit resumes for interim superintendent of Hamilton County schools is here and the names of the candidates has been released.

School board chairman Dr. Jonathan Welch released the names of the candidates.

Here's the list from Dr. Welch:

  • Robert Christensen, retired associate professor, Oklahoma State University
  • Bobbie Floyd, leasing consultants Steeplechase Apartments
  • Dr. Kirk Kelly, current acting superintendent
  • Jill Levine, principal of Normal Park Upper and Lower Schools, Chattanooga
  • Dwight Mayberry, former superintendent in Illinois
  • Robert Purifico of New Jersey, CEO We R 3C
  • Shaun Sadler of Chattanooga, Retired USMC
  • Yashika Ward of Chattanooga, property manager, Chattanooga Housing Authority

Welch says board members will discuss these candidates (and potentially others) and process at a work session on April 14. A decision could be made as soon as April 21.

The reason to get involved with the school district is different for each candidate, but all believe they can improve the current school system.

"I was confused, and I think confusion led me to say this can be better. It needs to be better," said Bobbie Floyd, who moved to Chattanooga six years ago and has 30-years of education experience.

"I just want to see it get started soon and us all working together and get some positive things going, because I haven't heard a lot of positives in a while," Floyd said.

"This sort of happened unexpectedly and I've decided to step up and take the leap and throw my name into the hat," said Jill Levine.

With 25 years in education, Normal Park School Prinicipal Jill Levine says she's wants to do her part to help the district.

"We have lots of work to do here, we've got to pull parents in and engage the community, build public confidence in public schools again, but we can do all of those things," said Levine

These candidates are being considered for Interim Superintendent, which is only a temporary position, but many of the candidates have also expressed interest in the permanent position depending on the school board and the district's needs.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Board of Education began the process of finding a new leader Thursday by naming Dr. Kirk Kelly and Dr. Lee McDade as Acting Co-Superintendents.

Kelly will serve as the primary role along with his duties as Director of Accountability. He was willing to fill the position for the short term but asked for help with testing already underway.

READ MORE | Kelly, McDade named acting superintendents by Hamilton school board 

"He didn't mind doing it but he felt like there were sometimes he has to focus on what he's been doing all along. This way Dr. McDade can share some of the burden," District 9 member Dr. Steve Highlander said. 

The board then shifted it's focus toward the interim search. In a five to three vote, members decided a Bachelor's degree would be the only requirement for an interim superintendent which is the state's minimum requirement. 

The decision came with argument from both sides on whether the leader of schools should come with a teaching background.

"There are so many things that schools have to do between now and the end of the school year and then to set up for the next school year, there's a huge learning curve for someone that doesn't have an education background," Highlander added. 

"There may be some good people that's a good manager of people and knows the right people to put in the right places to get the job done. I'm not just going to say they need to have an education degree," District 1 member Rhonda Thurman said. 

The person would hold the interim position for as long as it takes the board to find a permanent replacement. That could take anywhere from a couple of months to a year. 

The board will discuss the interim superintendent position on April 14th.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story. 

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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