KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The new superintendent of Knox County Schools, Dr. Jon Rysewyk, began his first week on the job after starting on June 4. The school district announced on Tuesday his full list of priorities, including what the district called a “realignment” to create new positions at the district’s central office administration.

Under Rysewyk’s leadership, the school district will create five regional teams that are each comprised of a regional director and regional supervisor. The five regions will be based on feeder patterns and geographic proximity, according to a news release shared by Knox County Schools.

The release also states that Rysewyk and the school district plan to create five new superintendent positions. A quick overview of what the five assistant superintendents will cover included the following:

  • 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.

Rysewyk said both internal and external candidates will be considered for the new assistant superintendent roles.

“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,” Rysewyk said. “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.”

Dr. Jon Rysewyk, official portrait. (Photo: Knox County Schools)

On Monday, Rysewyk shared his key priorities as the new superintendent of Knox County Schools:

  • 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,” Rysewyk said. “By setting a clear vision of our goals and strategies, I believe our community can work together to achieve great things.”

Rysewyk previously served as the district’s assistant superintendent and chief academic officer since 2017. He was selected from a pool of candidates by the Knox County Schools Board of Education to be the next superintendent after a search following former superintendent Bob Thomas’ announcement of his retirement last year.