VIDEO: Hamilton Co. school board interviews second superintenden - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


VIDEO: Hamilton Co. school board interviews second superintendent candidate

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UPDATE: Hamilton County school board members are getting to know the second of five superintendent candidates.

Stuart Greenberg is the Chief Academic Officer for Leon County Public Schools in Florida.

Greenberg met with several Hamilton County school employees. It's his first trip to the area.

"I'm excited to be here and be part of the process," Greenberg said.

Greenberg has applied for superintendent jobs at nearby school systems in Knox County and Nashville. He explains he has several areas he would like to learn more about if selected.

"One is student achievement. How do we support student achievement, both accelerating student achievement from elementary through high school and how do we provide interventions when students are not learning on time," Greenberg said.

Greenberg said he would also work with the county commission on the budget process and provide more support to school employees.

He plans to listen to the community, educators, and administrators and then talk about solutions if he's chosen to lead the school system. Greenberg calls transparency important.

"I think having honest conversations throughout the school year builds trust," Greenberg said.

On Monday, there was a dispute about what the press and public had access to in this process. Channel 3 was eventually granted access after citing Tennessee's open meetings law.

Read more: Public access disputed during superintendent interviews

Tuesday was much different and Channel 3 had access to every part of the process.

School Board Chairman Dr. Steve Highlander called it a misunderstanding.

Board members are expected to pick the new superintendent at next Thursday's board meeting.Count on Channel 3 to let you know who gets the job. 

UPDATE: We are one-step closer to having a superintendent for Hamilton County's school system. The board voted for their top five candidates.

The list was narrowed down from eight candidates to five. The next step is inviting them to Chattanooga to introduce them to the community.

Hamilton County schools have been without a permanent superintendent for over a year.     

“The horrible tragedy at Woodmore threw us way behind. We concentrated on that first and foremost.  As we should, I do not regret that,” said District 9 School Board member and board chairman Dr. Steve Highlander.

The board agreed on their top five selections for the position.

They include: the nontraditional candidate, Dr. Wayne Johnson, the businessman from Georgia. Doctor Bryan Johnson, the current chief academic officer for Clarksville Montgomery County Schools in Tennessee. Doctor Timothy Gadson, the superintendent designee and executive director of curriculum and schools for Robinsdale Area Schools in Minnesota. Stuart Greenberg, the chief academic officer for Leon Public Schools in Florida. And finally current interim superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly, who has been with the district for 35 years.

“We have five strong candidates," Highlander said. "I feel like they all have an opportunity to have a good interview and be considered strongly.”

The five candidates will be invited to Chattanooga for in-person interviews. They will meet with central office staff, teachers, and elected officials. The board plans to hold forums in their district for neighbors to learn about the finalist.

“Biographical background of each candidate. Let people speak up to three minutes on their concerns, likes and dislikes. Forum to fill out and give us. We want direct community input. But that is before they get here. Opportunity when they are here. Trying to do it all at UTC where people can go from a forum to an interview and back.”

After a 14 month search, the school district is ready to find their superintendent and move on with other business.

“It will be here quickly. They laughed at me I said I would love to have it by June 1st but I am really hoping to have it done by mid-June. They said, oh no you cannot do that. But it looks like we are going to be able to unless there is a problem.”

PREVIOUS UPDATE: The Hamilton County Department of Education has selected five finalists for the position of superintendent.

Board members voted to narrow the pool of applicants to five finalists, which include: Dr. Kirk Kelly, Dr. Wayne Johnson, Dr. Bryan Johnson, Stewart Greenberg, and Dr. Timothy Gadson.

The five finalists will come to Hamilton County for another round of interviews with school board members.

Stay with for updates to this story.

PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Schools are one-step closer to finding a permanent superintendent. The remaining three candidates were interviewed Monday evening.  The board interviewed Jack Elsey Jr., Dr. Kirk Kelly, and Dr. Timothy Gadson III.

It was another round of candidates vying to be superintendent of Hamilton County Schools.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Skype interviews begin for Hamilton Co. schools superintendent candidates

First up was Jack Elsey. His focus is student achievement, having a clear vision for instructional excellence, and professional development that is timely and relevant. He wants to bring more diversity to the classrooms.

“In every opportunity to hire somebody, that we make sure we have a diverse pool of candidates. Whether it means teachers, principal, central office staff. Every pool of candidates is the best one, most diverse staff in Hamilton County,” said Elsey in video conference call.

Interim superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly was next, he was also interviewed by the board though a video conference call. He said he is a product of Hamilton County public education. He's been the interim superintendent for over a year and said although a lot has been done, there is still more to do in the district. 

“The good piece about this is, since I have been here and working with you all. We have been able to establish a leadership team so we don't have to go through the process to reestablish it.  We also been working with you all to create a strategic plan. Now we are working to make sure it is implemented and everybody has the resources to go forth,” said Dr. Kirk Kelly.

The last candidate the board interviewed was Dr. Timothy Gadson who worked in the Atlanta Public Schools. He wants to involve teachers as much as possible in decision making. He hopes new direction in leadership will keep the five priority schools from being taken over by the state.

“My goal is for all students to succeed, by giving them skills and resources they need to be productive citizens in society. This can become a working class urban school system. I want to be the superintendent that ensures this happens,” said Dr. Gadson.

READ MORE | Search for Hamilton Co. superintendent continues; 3 more candidates interviewed

The school board plans to invite five candidates for in-person interviews at the beginning of June, and tentatively plans to vote June 15 on who will fill the position.


School Patrol

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


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