How do you get the attention of elementary students these days? That’s a question often asked in classrooms throughout the Tennessee Valley. One area school director just might have the answer.

As a director of sixteen Hamilton County schools, Dr. Larrie Reynolds is hoping to boost interest and results, inspiring teachers and students alike.  He’s not a central office kind of guy. He would rather be on the front lines.

We caught up with him in a fifth-grade classroom at East Brainerd Elementary School.  His background includes music, so he was using rap as a way to teach inferred meanings, comparing and contrasting.

His style may be a little unorthodox, but the fifth graders are attentive, busy and engaged.  The distinguished looking man is a special visitor with a fun, effective lesson.

The students are not just spectators.  After watching and listening, they play the beat and create a rap of their own using the tips shared by Dr. Reynolds.

Dr. Reynolds is wrapping up his first month inside Hamilton County classrooms.  He’s already made quite an impression on teachers and students and says he’ll continue to seek ways to use his talents to make learning fun.

Bio information on Dr. Larrie Reynolds: He leads the Missionary Ridge Learning Community in Hamilton County schools.  Reynolds was superintendent of schools for Mount Olive Township Public Schools in Budd Lake, New Jersey.  At Mount Olive, Reynolds ushered in an unprecedented era of financial investment.  New programs for students included a recording studio and a MakerSpace. Reynolds was also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Centenary University.  Before his work with Mount Olive Township, he worked as an educational consultant for the New Jersey Department of Education, served as superintendent for Pequannock Township, and assistant superintendent for San Angelo Independent School District in Texas.  He opened the first Edison School in the United States in Wichita, Kansas.  Reynolds was a principal in Kansas and Oklahoma.  He started his education career as a teacher in Kansas.  He was CEO and founder of Newton Learning.  Reynolds holds degrees from Southern Nazarene University, Trevecca College, Central State University and Oklahoma State University. 

The Missionary Ridge Learning Community includes Apison Elementary, East Brainerd Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, East Side Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Westview Elementary, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts, East Ridge Middle, Tyner Middle Academy, Collegiate High, East Hamilton Middle/High, East Ridge High, STEM School Chattanooga, and Tyner High Academy.