Superintendent Thomas to retire

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Superintendent Bob Thomas at a recent meeting of the Board of Education.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas has announced that he will be retiring next year.

Thomas, who was appointed in 2017 and has led the 88-school district through the COVID pandemic, announced his pending retirement in an e-mail circulated late this afternoon. 

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

Thomas said he wanted to give the Board of Education plenty of time to find a replacement. 

“Many things have changed during my time as an educator, but my commitment to our mission has never wavered. This is a critically important school year for every student, and I look forward to continuing to partner with our outstanding team of educators to help our students succeed this year,” he said.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas

A 1973 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Thomas has worked for the school district for 48 years. He started out as a teacher at Bearden Junior High and eventually worked his way up through the administration’s ranks. 

“Throughout his career with Knox County Schools, Superintendent Thomas has served admirably at all levels of our district – as a teacher, a school administrator, an assistant superintendent and superintendent,” said Board chair Kristi Kristy. “We are deeply appreciative for his lifelong dedication to our community.”

 “Superintendent Thomas has always been committed to doing what is best for students, and it was a privilege to work with him during my time as Board chair,” said former chair Susan Horn. “This summer he told me that he planned to retire, and we both agreed it was important to focus on starting the 2021-22 school year before making an announcement. I am grateful for his tremendous efforts on behalf of our district, including his leadership on employee raises, new capital projects and the 1:1 initiative that provided a Chromebook to every K-12 student.”

“It has personally been a pleasure to work with Superintendent Thomas over the past three years,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “On behalf of everyone in Knox County, I want to thank him for his decades of service to Knox County Schools and the positive impact he’s had on generations of young people.”

Published on September 10, 2021.