Buzz Thomas, President of Great Schools Partnership (GSP), was selected to fill the seat as Interim Superintendent of the Knox County Schools starting June 15, 2016. Mr. Thomas has been with GSP, an organization which mission is to help make the Knox County Schools globally competitive, since January 2010. Before serving Knox County students with GSP, Mr. Thomas co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the Niswonger Foundation, an education foundation in the Tri-Cities area.
Mr. Thomas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee where he graduated first in his class. He earned a Master of Divinity from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he also graduated first in his class and was chosen as the school’s outstanding divinity student. Mr. Thomas received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he was Order of the Coif and earned his Master of Laws from the University of Virginia. He later taught law at Georgetown University and has been a guest lecture at Harvard, Notre Dame, the Chautauqua Institution, and the Smithsonian. He is former Chair of the Maryville Board of Education; has published articles in a variety of national publications; and served as a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. He is also the recipient of the Prometheus Award, given by the University of Tennessee for excellence in educational leadership.
Mr. Thomas and his wife Lisa, have two grown daughters, Rachel and Sarah.