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KCS Superintendent Announces District Priorities

KCS Superintendent Announces District PrioritiesKCS Superintendent Announces District 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 part of the realignment, the district will create five assistant superintendents:

  • The Assistant Superintendent of Academics will include oversight of Learning and Literacy, Academic Supports, College and Career Readiness and Regions 1 through 4;
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Business and Talent will oversee HR and the Chief Financial Officer;
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Student Success will oversee functions including English Language Learning, Health Services, School Culture, Special Education and Region 5;
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Operations will oversee functions including Security, Transportation, and Maintenance; and
  • The Assistant Superintendent of Strategy will oversee Communications; Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA); and ESSER programming.

“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.”

Details including personnel appointments and additional guidance about the makeup of the five regions will be provided in the coming days.