The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) is a diverse school system, providing approximately 44,000 students in the Chattanooga, TN area with high quality educational opportunities. The district offers a wide variety of educational programs for all students including magnet schools, career academies and gender-based classes as well as a focus on individual student success with the goal of preparing all students to compete in the global economy. HCDE is also known for some of its urban school successes as well as middle school and high school reform.
Hamilton County ranks as the third largest out of the 142 school districts in Tennessee. There are 79 schools in the District: 44 elementary schools, 13 middles schools, 13 high schools, and 9 other. The demographic representation of the students is approximately 56% Caucasian, 31% African-American, 10.5% Hispanic or Latino, and 2.5% Asian and Native American/Alaskan Native. HCDE also has a significant number of English language learners. HCDE employs approximately 200 administrators and staff as well as approximately 3400 licensed teachers (an approximate total of 6300 employees). The current annual budget for the District is $417.7 million. The funding trustee for HCDE is the Hamilton County Commission with funds primarily coming from county property taxes, sales taxes, and state and federal sources.
The mission of HCDE is to ensure that we have “A community where every child succeeds.” The District’s vision entails “giving students the skills and resources they need to be productive citizens in society.” HCDE strives to help students reach their highest potential by equipping them for multiple options upon graduation from high school: the option to go to post-secondary education; the option to go into the workforce; or the option to seek some type of alternative training.
HCDE is governed by the Board of Education, a nine-member body whose members are residents of, and elected on a non-partisan basis from, districts of substantially equal population. Members of the Board serve four year terms.
The HCDE Board of Education has the following goals:
- The development and support of leadership throughout the Hamilton County Schools.
- The development and maintenance of good relationships between the Board, the Administration, and the community.
- The pursuit of academic progress across all areas of need.
- Access for all students to quality facilities that support learning.
Further, a strategic plan that more specifically guides the district toward excellence was recently implemented. This plan is based on several core goals:
- Great Teachers, Great Leaders.
- Engage Every Child. Every Day.
- Strong Foundations: Literacy and Math.
- Building Our Values: Culture, Climate and Communication.
- Prepare All Students for College and Career.
- Closing the Opportunity Gap.
For additional information on the Hamilton County Department of Education, please visit the HCDE website at www.hcde.org
HCDE schools serve students living in the greater Chattanooga area. Chattanooga, located in Southeast Tennessee near the border of Georgia at the junction of four interstate highways, is the 4th
largest city in the state. The city of Chattanooga, with approximately 173,000 residents, is the largest municipality located in Hamilton County (total population of approximately 350,000). Chattanooga is a warm, friendly city filled with southern charm that offers a wide variety of activities for all ages. The local economy includes a strong, diversified mix of manufacturing and service industries, four colleges, and several boarding/preparatory schools known throughout the South. The City has also received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront. The City boasts the most productive affordable housing program in the nation, and is notable for leveraging development funds through effective public/private partnerships, with significant civic involvement on the part of private foundations. Chattanooga was also one of the first US cities to effectively use a citizen visioning process to set specific long-range goals to enrich the lives of residents and visitors. “Sustainability” is a key concept for industry and government working together for enlightened development. With its scenic beauty, stable population and economy, civic vitality, cross-sector partnerships, fiscal integrity, and strategic location, Chattanooga enters the 21st
century as one of the most progressive and livable mid-size cities in the United States. For more information about Chattanooga, please visit www.chattanooga.gov.
For more information about Hamilton County, please visit www.hamiltontn.gov.
As described above, HCDE is governed by a nine-member, non-partisan elected Board of Education. The Board is also permitted to have one, non-voting, student member. The Board is responsible for establishing policies, setting direction, and providing support for quality educational opportunities for all students served by the District. The Superintendent is appointed by, and reports directly to, the Board of Education. The Superintendent is ultimately responsible for leading and managing, either directly or indirectly, the following functions/positions: Chief Academic Officer; Curriculum and Instructional Support; Operations Support; Administrative Services; Human Resources; and Information Technology. The Superintendent is ultimately responsible for leading the District’s 3400 licensed teachers and 6,300 employees system-wide.
The primary responsibility of the Superintendent is to serve as the Chief Executive Officer for the School District. The Superintendent is responsible for working with the Board to establish the strategic direction for the District, and then assume responsibility for the implementation of that strategy, accomplishment of stated objectives, and the overall day-to-day operations of the District. The Superintendent is also the liaison between the District’s employees and the Board and is the leader accountable for all personnel within the system. The Superintendent is charged to inspire, lead, guide, and direct the administrative, instructional, and operational support services teams in setting and achieving the set standards of excellence so that each individual student may have a quality learning experience that provides them with the skills and resources they need to be productive citizens in society. All of these responsibilities, accountabilities, and activities must be effectively executed and/or accomplished in an educational and community environment characterized by a desire to continue with current school successes and drive academic improvements in the schools/areas identified.
Specific responsibilities include, but may not necessarily be limited to, the following:
- Administer the development and maintenance of a positive, innovative educational program designed to meet the needs of all of the community.
- Recommend policies, guidelines, and procedures for adoption by the Board and execute the policies, guidelines, and procedures adopted by the Board.
- Develop a plan/culture that cultivates and supports all the human capital needs of the District. Nominate, appoint, and/or assign, and define the duties, of all district personnel (subject to approval of the Board as necessary). Create a working environment and culture that allows the District to recruit, retain, and motivate a high-quality team of educators who are passionate about educating children. Seek opportunities for professional growth, and ensure appropriate professional and personal development for all District personnel.
- Make recommendations to the Board with respect to school accommodations/facilities, boundaries for school attendance, and student assignment to the various schools.
- Prepare the annual budget for Board approval. Provide strategic and operational business and financial leadership to the District in order for the District to operate in a financially responsible manner consistent with all state rules and regulations.
- Conduct continuous study of the development and needs of the schools and keep the Board and public informed.
- Develop and promote opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships between the District and a diverse group of community stakeholders.
- Represent the schools before the public and maintain, through collaborative leadership, a program of communications and public relations both inside and outside the schools that keeps the public informed of the activities, needs, and successes of the schools. Seek appropriate opportunities to promote the District in the community and the region at large.
- Adhere to local, state, and federal laws.
- Serve as the primary liaison with state and local government officials and representatives regarding legislation and appropriations affecting the District.
- Visit the schools as often as practical to observe the work of the staff in the school setting.
- Continually investigate, support, and implement innovative and appropriate uses of technology.
- Perform such other duties as the Board may direct.
- Passionate, energetic, enthusiastic; exhibits a love for educating young people and enthusiasm for the educational process.
- Visionary leader who exhibits innovative thinking with the necessary skills and abilities to put the Board of Education’s vision into action.
- Superior management and leadership skills; ability to revise/develop/maintain good management policies.
- Superior human relations skills: visible and approachable; creates an atmosphere of acceptance; builds consensus and loyalties across a diverse group of stakeholders; community-oriented; transparent in interactions with the community; politically astute and savvy; ability to understand the political dynamics of the community.
- Effective written and oral communication skills; ability to communicate to internal and external stakeholders; good listener.
- Exhibits high personal expectations and high has expectations for others.
- Ability to recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified employees and lead others to do the same.
- Strong planning and concept development skills; strategic, creative, innovative thinker yet organized with the ability to prioritize appropriately.
- Appropriate financial acumen and financial management skills.
- Good decision making skills; understanding of data and data analysis in good decision making; courage to make tough/necessary decisions.
- Knowledgeable in the use of technology as an educational and administrative tool.
- Seeks personal and professional growth opportunities.
- Appropriate educational credentials. Terminal degree preferred.
- Successful experience both within and outside of an educational setting will be considered.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, benefits, and relocation assistance.
Hamilton County Department of Education is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Once the Board selects candidates to interview, Tennessee’s Open Meetings Law requires interviews to be conducted in meetings open to the public.