KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Board of Education on Tuesday voted on their choice for the next school superintendent to lead the district of more than 50,000 students.

By a vote of 6-2, with one abstention, Dr. Jon Rysewyk has been chosen as the next superintendent of Knox County Schools over Dr. Linda Cash. If he accepts the position, he will replace the outgoing Bob Thomas, who served in the role since 2017.

Dr. Jon Rysewyk

Rysewyk is Knox County’s current assistant superintendent, a role he’s held since 2017. His career includes five years in the classroom. Then he served as assistant principal and principal of Fulton High School. Rysewyk went to the district to serve as supervisor of secondary education. He then was the executive director of innovation and school improvement. He also briefly served as director of Emerald Academy before moving into his current role.

Cash has been director of schools in Bradley County for seven years. Her career started with 18 years in the classroom, then she spent 10 serving as assistant principal and principal. She then took the role of assistant dean of graduate education at Union University for a while before going back to public education.

She served as assistant superintendent of Robertson County Schools before her current position at Bradley County Schools. Earlier this week, the Knoxville branch of the NAACP backed Cash as their preferred candidate in an open letter to school board Chairwoman Kristi Kristy

A third candidate, Kirk Shrum, withdrew his candidacy early in the selection process.

The selection isn’t final until an employment agreement is in place. An official announcement will be made March 14.