Knox County School Board selects Jon Rysewyk as new principal

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County School Board voted Tuesday on choosing the next school superintendent to lead the district of more than 50,000 students.

By a vote of 6 to 2, with one abstention, Dr. Jon Rysewyk was chosen as the next Knox County Schools Superintendent over Dr. Linda Cash. If he accepts the job, he will replace outgoing Bob Thomas, who has held the position since 2017.

Dr. Jon Rysewyk

Rysewyk is the current Deputy Superintendent of Knox County, a position he has held since 2017. His career includes five years in the classroom. He later served as vice principal and principal of Fulton High School. Rysewyk went to the district to serve as a secondary education supervisor. He later served as Executive Director of Innovation and School Improvement. He was also briefly headmaster of the Emerald Academy before assuming his current position.

Cash has been a principal of schools in Bradley County for seven years. Her career started with 18 years in the classroom, then she spent 10 as vice principal and principal. She then served as the assistant dean of higher education at Union University for a time before returning to public education.

She served as Deputy Superintendent of Robertson County Schools prior to her current position at Bradley County Schools. Earlier this week, the Knoxville branch of the NAACP endorsed Cash as the preferred candidate in an open letter to school board president Kristi Kristy

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

Selection is not final until an employment contract is in place. An official announcement will be made on March 14.