Let’s go get ’em, Jon

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Reorganization is expected with any new leader, and Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk is no exception. An official announcement will come later, but we’re hearing that Rysewyk has renamed most central office positions and asked folks at the central office to reapply. Here’s hoping he junks the overblown titles left over from former Superintendent Jim McIntyre – you don’t need an executive director when director works just as well.

We also believe Rysewyk plans to create five regions to be headed by assistant superintendents and staff to supervise pre-K through 12. If so, decentralization is good. One person can’t know 5,000 teachers and 50,000 kids. It also injects an element of competition that can’t hurt. Wouldn’t you love to see the stadiums packed on Friday nights to cheer students who scored 21 or above on their ACT? How about 30 and above?

This is unofficial, but confirmed by multiple sources. We’ll come back and link to the press release when it arrives.

Rysewyk (pronounced RISE-wick) is hitting the road today, visiting three schools with summer learning camps – instruction to catch kids up. The camps are funded with Covid money and include lunch and transportation. Starting at 8:30 a.m., Rysewyk will visit Christenberry, then Amherst and then Karns Middle.

At 48, he’s got the energy for this time-consuming job. Read his bio here.

And check out his four priorities:

  • Excellence in Foundational Skills
  • Great Educators in Every School
  • Career Empowerment and Preparation
  • Success for Every Student

Today is for optimism and excitement. June is for staffing decisions that will set the tone for his tenure. Fall is for leadership.

Let’s stop the brain drain of teachers and even students abandoning Knox County Schools. Treat teachers as trusted professionals. Bring families and the community into the schools. Make the buildings community centers. Inskip Elementary is a great model.

Knox County Schools is not broken, but it can be better. Dr. Jon Rysewyk stands on the shoulders of great previous leaders. Let’s go get ’em, Jon

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.


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