Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk
The Knox County Board of Education selected Dr. Jon Rysewyk as superintendent of Knox County Schools at a Called Meeting on Feb. 22, 2022. His tenure began on June 4, 2022.
Dr. Rysewyk earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a doctorate of education from East Tennessee State University.
He began his education career as a teaching intern at Bearden High School, and went on to serve as a science teacher, department head and assistant principal. In 2008, he was hired as Executive Principal at Fulton High School, at the same time that the school was being reconstituted by the State of Tennessee.
During his time as principal at Fulton, Dr. Rysewyk led the implementation of small learning communities, which were designed to foster a sense of belonging among students and improve academic performance. Graduation rates rose significantly during his tenure, and the school saw students from every testing group make “adequate yearly progress” according to state standards.
Dr. Rysewyk went on to serve as the district’s Supervisor of Secondary Education and Executive Director of Innovation and School Improvement, before being hired as the founding director of Emerald Academy. In 2017, he returned to Knox County Schools, where he served as assistant superintendent and chief academic officer.
In 2007, Dr. Rysewyk received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. In 2010, he participated in the Leadership Knoxville program; was recognized by the Greater Knoxville Business Journal as part of its “40 Under 40” Class; and received the University of Tennessee’s William J. and Lucille H. Field Award for Excellence in Tennessee Secondary School Leadership.
Dr. Rysewyk and his wife, Rebecca, live in Knox County and have two daughters.
Dr. Rysewyk's Four Priorities
On June 4, 2022, Dr. Jon Rysewyk took office as the new Superintendent of Knox County Schools. Dr. Rysewyk, who previously served as the district’s assistant superintendent and chief academic officer, is committed to putting students at the center of every decision, and has identified four key priorities to accomplish that goal:
- Excellence in foundational skills, particularly early literacy and middle-school math;
- Providing great educators in every school;
- Career empowerment and preparation; and
- Success for every student.
“Knox County is blessed with incredible educators and talented students,” said Dr. Rysewyk. “By setting a clear vision of our goals and strategies, I believe our community can work together to achieve great things.”
In order to pursue these priorities effectively, Dr. Rysewyk also announced a plan to realign the district’s Central Office and foster stronger connections with the communities served by the district.
This will include the creation of five regional teams that are each comprised of a regional director and regional supervisor. One of those leaders will have elementary experience and the other will have secondary experience, and each team will also include leaders with expertise in various content areas. The five regions will be based on feeder patterns and geographic proximity.
“As one of the largest districts in Tennessee, a one-size-fits-all approach will not provide the level of responsiveness that our school communities deserve,” said Dr. Rysewyk. “I believe that regional teams will help us foster community engagement and ownership in the educational process, and will shift the educational focus away from the Central Office back to individual schools, where the most important work happens.”