KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas, who has served as the district’s leader since 2017, told school staff Friday that he will retire following the academic year.

In a letter sent to all KCS staff on Friday, Thomas said he will retire on June 30, 2022, following the conclusion of the 2021-2022 academic school year.

Thomas said he chose to make the announcement to allow the Board of Education ample time to find the next superintendent.

“In discussions with my family over the summer, I made the decision to retire on June 30, 2022. 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.”

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas

Thomas was unanimously appointed Superintendent in March 2017. Thomas had served as an assistant superintendent for Knox County Schools since 1990.

Board of Education members are now looking ahead to ensure a smooth transition.

“As we look for the next leader of Knox County Schools, I am committed to facilitating a community-based search process that identifies the very best potential candidates. I am confident that the Board of Education will conduct a thorough and transparent search that looks across the district, state, and nation to ensure that Knox County finds the very best leader for our schools. Our students, teachers, and parents deserve excellence, and that’s exactly what we are committed to delivering.”

Knox County Board of Education Chair Kristi Kristy

“I think it’s important for the board to really lay out who do we want in a superintendent. And with that comes with us doing additional work to identify who we are as a district. What are our growth areas, what are our areas we’re doing well so that we can already have the game plan in place so that we know who we are looking for to continue on the work.”

Evetty Satterfield, District 1

“I appreciate him giving us notice of his retirement, so that we have time to do a thorough search and find the next superintendent for our school system.”

Virginia Babb, District 4

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