Bob Thomas: KCS chief to retire

Josh FloryFeature

In a letter sent to KCS families on September 10, Superintendent Bob Thomas announced that he will be retiring on June 30, 2022, the end of his current contract. (See Sandra Clark’s earlier column here)


“In discussions with my family over the summer, I made the decision to retire on June 30, 2022,” Thomas said. “However, due to all the work required to get school started and underway, I thought it best to make my announcement after the school year began. While there is much important work to be done, I wanted to make my plans clear so the Board of Education would have ample time to find the next superintendent for our district.”

After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1973, Thomas began working as a teacher at Bearden Junior High. He recently began his 49th year as an employee of the district, and has served as an assistant principal, a principal and assistant superintendent. He was appointed as superintendent of Knox County Schools in March 2017.

As superintendent, Thomas has focused on three priorities: Enhancing Student Achievement, Creating A Positive Culture and Eliminating Disparities. Those priorities became the foundation of a new five-year Strategic Plan that was adopted by the Board of Education in 2019.

“Throughout his career with Knox County Schools, Superintendent Thomas has served admirably at all levels of our district – as a teacher, a school administrator, an assistant superintendent and superintendent,” said District 9 Board of Education member and chair Kristi Kristy. “We are deeply appreciative for his lifelong dedication to our community.”

“Superintendent Thomas has always been committed to doing what is best for students, and it was a privilege to work with him during my time as Board chair,” said District 5 Board member and former chair Susan Horn. “This summer he told me that he planned to retire, and we both agreed it was important to focus on starting the 2021-22 school year before making an announcement. I am grateful for his tremendous efforts on behalf of our district, including his leadership on employee raises, new capital projects and the 1:1 initiative that provided a Chromebook to every K-12 student.”

“It has personally been a pleasure to work with Superintendent Thomas over the past three years,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “On behalf of everyone in Knox County, I want to thank him for his decades of service to Knox County Schools and the positive impact he’s had on generations of young people.”

Josh Flory is a multi-media specialist with Knox County Schools and writes the blog Hall Pass for the KCS website.

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