It’s here. And it’s even better than March Madness.
Tennessee needs a new Education Commissioner.
Now, a joint project between Tennessee Education Report, Bluff City Ed, and Professional Educators of Tennessee brings you a chance to weigh-in on who should be our next Commissioner of Education.
Should it be a reformer from another state like Cami Anderson?
Should it be a teacher and blogger like Jon Alfuth?
What about Knox County Director of Schools Jim McIntyre?
Or, Jim Wrye from the TEA?
Find out all the details over at Bluff City Ed.
Here’s a bracket:
And here is some background on each candidate:
- Kathleen Airhart (TNDOE) – Deputy Commissioner of Education, prior director of Putnam County Schools since 2007, named TN Superintendent of the year in 2012. Has experience as a classroom teacher.
- Lyle Ailshie (Kingsport schools) – Superintendent, former Director of Greenville City Schools (TN) – Greenville schools recognized during tenure as a high performing system, past president of Tennessee Organization for School Superintendents, 2005 Superintendent of the year. School district ranked second in the state by niche.com.
- J. Worthington (Clarksville-Montgomery County) – Superintendent, worked to expand STEM integration into all 37 district schools. Previously served as CAO in the system, and as a principal and a science teacher. School district ranked thirty first in the state by niche.com.
- Jim McIntyre (Knox County) – Superintendent, previously served as chief operating officer and budget director for Boston Public Schools. Has worked as a classroom teacher, went through the Broad Foundation Fellowship. Named outstanding Superintendent of the Year by state-wide PTA association from 2009-2011. School district ranked thirteenth in the state by niche.com.
- Rick Smith (Hamilton County)– Superintendent, has 30 years of educational experience. School district ranked forty fourth in the state by niche.com.
- Dan Lawson (Tullahoma City) – Superintendent, previously served as a professor of educational leadership in Murfreesboro, TN. Also served as superintendent in Mountain Grove, Missouri. School district ranked fourteenth in the state by niche.com.
- Mike Looney (Williamson County) – Superintendent since 2009, previously served as superintendent of Butler County Schools and assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Montgomery public schools in Alabama. School district fourth second in the state by niche.com.
- Linda Stroud (Greenville) – Director of Schools, has spent entire career in Greenville City School System and has been a principal and assistant director of administration. Named Tennessee Mid Level Principal of the year in 2005, finalist for National Association of Secondary School Principals National Principal of the Year in 2006. School district ranked third in the state by niche.com.
- Wanda Shelton (Lincoln County) – Superintendent, named Superintendent of the year for 2015 by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents. School district ranked fifth fifth in the state by niche.com.
- Chuck Cagle (Education Lobbyist) – chair of the Education law Practice Group for Lewis Thomason’s Nashville office. Oversees representation of over 70 public boards of education and other private schools. Registered lobbyist for school superintendents, employee professional organizations and educational services corporations.
- Del Phillips (Sumner) – Director of Schools, began career as a teacher in Mississippi, has also served as an assistant principal and assistant superintendent. School district ranked 20th in the state by niche.com.
- Jesse Register (Nashville) – outgoing superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools. Previously served as Hamilton County Supt from 1996-2006. School district ranked thirty sixth in the state by niche.com.
- Dorsey Hopson (Shelby) – Superintendent, worked as general counsel for Atlanta Public Schools, served as private consultant for Clayton County Schools in Georgia. Accepted role as general council from MCS in 2008, moving into interim Supt. Role and then Supt. Role. School district ranked eleventh in the state by niche.com.
- Jim Wrye (TEA) – government relations manager and chief lobbyist for TEA. Previously worked for Alabama education Association, notably fought to stop charter schools in Alabama. Also served as the Deputy Commissioner for Alabama Dept. of Children’s Affairs and Assistant Director of University of Alabama.
- Dolores Gresham (Senate Ed Chair) – elected in 2008, previously served three terms in TN Hous of Representatives. District located in western part of the state. Served in US Marine Corps.
- Gloria Johnson (former Knox State Rep) – former rep, was defeated this cycle. Democrat, worked as a Knox County teacher for 26 years. Graduated from Knox County Schools.
- Jamie Woodson (SCORE) – president and CEO of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, served for 12 years in Tennessee General Assembly. Chaired Senate Education Committee. Serves on TN Business Roundtable and TN Fish and Wildlife Commission.
- Dale Lynch (Hamblen County) – Director of Schools in Hamblen County.
- Mike Winstead (Maryville) – Director of Schools since 2013. Previously served as assistant director of schools. School district ranked first in the state by niche.com.
- B. Smith (Giles County) – director of schools. Previously served as principal of a middle school.
- Jason Vance (loudon County) – Director of Schools. School district ranked thirty third in the state by niche.com.
- Bob Rider (Dean of UT College of Ed) – dean since 2004, previously served as Dean of college of education at Butler University from 2001-2004, as well as associate dean at Florida State.
- Paul Conn (president of Lee University, Cleveland TN) – president since 1986, previously worked in the Lee College psychology faculty, won an award for excellence in teaching. Also taught at Appalachian State.
- Candice McQueen (Lipscomb) – Senior Vice President of Lipscomb, taught in Elementary and Middle schools.
- Terry Holliday (KY) – recently selected education commissioner for Kentucky. Previously served as superintendent in the state, and awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality award.
- Paul Vallas (NO) – former Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools and former Supt. of the Recovery School District in LA, as well as former CEO of Chicago public schools and Philadelpha Schools. Ran for Lt. Gov of Illinois in 2014.
- Cami Anderson (NJ) – Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, formerly superintendent of alternative high schools for the NYC Department of Education. Served as ED of Teach for America NY, served as chief program officer for New Leaders for New Schools.
- Jon Alfuth (teacher, Memphis) – teacher, writer, public commentator, serves as a Teach Plus policy fellow and Tennessee Educator fellow (hey, its our tournament!)
- JC Bowman (ProEdTN) – Executive Director and CEO of PET. Fomer school teacher and VP of the National Association of Professional Educators. Served as chief policy analyst for the Education Policy Unit for Gov. Jeb Bush. Received 2003 SMART award from the National institute for Education options, and much more (hey, its our tournament!)
- Andy Spears (consultant, Nashville) – Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, president of Spears Strategy, editor/writer at TNEdReport. Formerly a press secretary in the Tennessee State Senate (hey, its our tournament!)
- Emily Barton (TN Department of Education) – Assistant Commissioner of Curriculum and Instruction for Tennessee. Served as Chief of Staff to Commissioner Huffman previously, and managed Teach for America’s DC region. Former 7th grade math teacher in Louisiana.
- Chris Barbic (TN, ASD) – Superintendent of the Achievement School District, founder of Yes Prep charter schools in Houston, TX. Former public school teacher. Received 2004 Citizen Activist Award from Gleitsman Foundation.
Full rules and voting information over at Bluff City Ed.
Voting for the Round of 32 starts tomorrow and ends on November 23rd.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport