Hamilton County's new schools superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson is sharing his goals, and hosting a series of nine Community Listening Tours starting Thursday August 3.

The first town hall-style event will take place at The Teacher’s Place, 1161 W. 40th Street on August 3 at 6:30 p.m.       

Dr. Johnson says he will share his vision for Hamilton County Schools and listen to parents and community members. 

Here is the full list of locations and dates:

  • Monday 8/7/17 Orchard Knob Elem. School 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 4)
  • Thursday 8/10/17 Red Bank Baptist Church 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 2)
  • Monday 8/14/17 East Ridge Community Center 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 8)
  • Tuesday 8/15/17 Bayside Baptist Church 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 9)
  • Monday 8/21/17 Clear Creek Church of Christ 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 3)
  • Thursday 8/24/17 Apison Baptist Church 7 p.m. (Dist. 7)
  • Monday 8/28/17 Brainerd High School 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 5)
  • Tuesday 8/29/17 Soddy Daisy High School 6:30 p.m. (Dist. 1)

In a meeting with school system administrators on Thursday, Dr. Johnson named five goals he will work to accomplish.  According to several educators who attended, his goals are:

1.  Working closely with School Board members, both collectively, and individually;

2.  Making organizational changes in the central office;

3.  Working to improve and enhance teacher quality, with a focus on professional development;

4.  Working with school administrators to improve leadership skills; and

5.  Engaging with community members more effectively, which will include a renewed focus on communications.

The superintendent will utilize the services of the Johnson Group, a Chattanooga advertising agency.  The company has reportedly agreed to work for the county schools pro bono, donating the majority of their services for a period of time. In recent years, former Superintendent Rick Smith handled his own communications, and interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly hired a communications coordinator, who remains on the job.

Dr. Johnson, according to those in attendance, told administrators on Thursday that he intended to be in Hamilton County for a long time.  The school system has had three superintendents, including Dr. Kelly, since 2011, but Dr. Johnson told the group he planned to "be here for fifteen years," smiling at School Board member Joe Wingate, who was in the audience.

The superintendent will reveal more about his reorganization plan in the next few weeks, according to sources.  He is expected to announce supervisory positions for the iZone schools, five county schools that have been targeted for state takeover due to low test scores.  State Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen has made it clear that changes must take place in the direction of the schools (Brainerd High, Dalewood Middle, Woodmore Elementary, and Orchard Knob Middle and Elementary), while School Board members and Chattanooga City Council members have asked for more time, citing improvements that have already been put in place.  Dr. Johnson reportedly wants to provide more support for the schools in an effort to show the state that the county is moving forward, even though 2016-17 test scores have not yet been released by the state.

Dr. Johnson will continue to host listening tours in each district throughout the month of August.