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UPDATE: Hamilton Co. school board names Interim Superintendent

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UPDATE:  Hamilton County school board members named an interim superintendent Thursday and there's not much of a change. 

Dr. Kirk Kelly will continue filling the seat temporarily as the board shifts it's focus to finding a permanent replacement. 

Before all the votes were tallied, Kelly received the five he needed to secure the seat. 

Kelly was chosen over Normal Park School Principal Jill Levine and former Marine Colonel Shaun Sadler. 

"Regardless of what we do tonight, we have to open schools tomorrow, so we have to make sure that we're doing the very best for all of the students," Kelly told board members Thursday. 

During his interview, Kelly told members the culture in central office needed to change from one known as the "good 'ole boys" to one that helps teachers. 

"In terms of positions, they've got to be open. We cannot have someone get a position because of who they know. We've got to have the very best people in front of my students and our teachers," he added. 

Within the first 30 days as Interim Superintendent, Kelly says he plans to visit each school campus in the district to learn what each one needs individually. 

"Actually listen to teachers and take their input, listen to administrators, take their input. So we can plan based off of what people are saying they actually need. We talked about our students needing a voice, I feel like our teachers need a voice and our administrators need a voice," he added. 

Kelly was initially appointed as co-superintendent along with Dr. Lee McDade. McDade will go back to his position as assistant superintendent. 

The board could take up to a year to choose a permanent superintendent. 


The Hamilton County School Board votes in favor of Dr. Kirk Kelly as Hamilton County Interim Superintendent. Five votes (Steve Highlander, David Testerman, George Ricks, Karitsa Mosley, and Joe Galloway) went to Kelly, while the other candidates received two votes each.  Shaun Sadler was supported by Rhonda Thurman and Greg Martin, and Jill Levine received votes from Dr. Jonathan Welch and Donna Horn.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County School Board has chosen its top three candidates for the position of interim superintendent.

Acting Supt. Dr. Kirk Kelly, Normal Park principal Jill Levine, and retired Marine Corps Col. Shaun Sadler are top three candidates for the job.

The three were chosen from a list of eight people who applied for the job, following the retirement Rick Smith. The interim superintendent would serve until the Board chooses a permanent replacement, possibly later this year.  Each of the three are believed to be interested in the permanent position.

READ MORE | Hamilton Co. BOE releases candidate list for interim superintendent

All three candidates will be interviewed at 3 pm next Thursday.

School Patrol

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

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