The Hamilton County Board of Education voted 5-4 tonight to name Tennessee educator Bryan Johnson the district's permanent superintendent.
It took one round of voting for Johnson to receive the five votes he needed to secure the post, which former Superintendent Rick Smith vacated 15 months ago.
Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, received votes Thursday night from board members Joe Galloway, David Testerman, Karitsa Mosley Jones and Kathy Lennon. But school board members Steve Highlander, Tiffanie Robinson, Joe Wingate, Joe Smith and Rhonda Thurman cast votes for Johnson.
Since 2008, Johnson has worked in Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools, a large Tennessee district north of Nashville. He started his career teaching and coaching in the school system and was promoted through the ranks and named chief academic officer in 2015.
Johnson was the only candidate selected by all nine board members last month when they narrowed the list to five finalists.
During his interview with the board last week, Johnson said parents shouldn't have to worry about whether their children are receiving a quality education in Hamilton County's public schools.
"My job day 1 is to make sure these 44,000 students get what they deserve," Johnson said.
The last time a school board picked a superintendent from more than one finalist was in 1997, when it voted to hire Jesse Register, the first superintendent to lead the merged city-county school system.
Johnson will be the fourth permanent superintendent to lead the merged district.
Arthur Wayne Johnson, a Georgia businessman, pulled his name from consideration today before the vote.
Timothy Gadson III and Stuart Greenberg were also finalists for the post, but didn't receive any votes Thursday night.
Read more of this article at the original post on the Chattanooga Times Free Press.