Top 3 candidates announced for JMCSS superintendent position


JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County School Board takes a big step toward choosing a new superintendent.

“Tonight, the board really voted to adopt the three candidates recommended from the Tennessee School Board Association,” board chair Bob Alvey said.

The board met Thursday for their monthly board meeting and heard an update from TSBA on the top candidates for the soon to be vacant superintendent’s position.

“The board has interviewed one of these candidates previously in a superintendent search, and the other two candidates have worked in Jackson-Madison County Schools,” Alvey said.

The top three candidates include Dr. Joel Hassell. Hassell is the principal at Ripley High School in Lauderdale County. Hassell was in the running for the position years ago.

The second candidate is Dr. Tammy Knipp who is the Assistant Director of Schools, Operations and Support of Putnam County Schools in Baxter, Tennessee.

The third candidate is Dr.  Eric T. Jones who is the Resident Faculty at the National Institute for School Leadership Washington, D.C.

“We’re hoping we get a lot of community feedback on how the candidates match up against the criteria the board and community developed,” Alvey said.

Interviews are next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and the board is looking at holding them at City Hall.

After the interviews, the board will have to make the big decision.

“The board will have a special called meeting on that following Saturday (Feb. 18) at 1 p.m. for the purpose of discussing those candidates and which candidate they would like to move forward with,” Alvey said.

It is not a decision the board takes lightly.

“This job is one of the most important jobs in this community,” Alvey said. “The tone of education for the 13,000 students that are in our district are set by the superintendent.”

The school board also has a Community Advisory Committee consisting of 12 people including teachers, parents, business leaders and students.

The committee does not have voting power but will offer their feedback to the board.

Current Superintendent Verna Ruffin will step down from her position at the end of the current school year.

Categories: Local News, News