Dr. Bryan Johnson interview
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Hamilton County’s new School Superintendent wants to make sure 5 low performing schools succeed.
Dr. Bryan Johnson sat down with News 12 for his first official interview as Superintendent.
“So, my first priorities are to listen, as much and as deeply as possible to as many different perspectives as possible.”
Dr. Bryan Johnson is a little more than a week into his job as Superintendent.
He already knows one of his first priorities will be dealing with 5 low performing schools in the district.
The state is keeping an eye on Woodmore Elementary, Orchard Knob Elementary, Orchard Knob Middle School, Dalewood Middle School and Brainerd High School.
But right now, state officials are not taking over the management of those schools.
Dr. Johnson wants to help those schools.
“I think we’re in a unique point in that the state feels they have given us as a system, and obviously I’m new, but given us as a system a significant period of time to try and turn some things around.”
Dr. Johnson inherits a system rocked by the deaths of 6 students in last year’s Woodmore bus crash.
That brought up questions about whether the school district should contract out bus services.
“There’s the contracted with Durham, and then you have contracted drivers, so you’ve got a blend of the two. I think we continue to take this year. It may be that that fits into our strategic plan in looking at our operational efficiencies, and how we increase our efficiency. And so again, you know, we’re never going to short change student safety.”
The issue of student safety also came up after the Ooltewah rape scandal.
Several basketball players were accused of raping a fellow student during an out of town tournament.
“So, obviously, I can’t speak to what’s gone on in the past, and you’ve got legal stuff there, and that’s still being worked through. But what I can speak to and pledge to the public is that number one, number one for us is going to be safety. We’re going to make sure that we’ve got safe and secure environments as much as we can, because when. As a parent myself, you send your child to school, you expect for them to return the way you sent them.”
Dr. Johnson sees a lot of success stories in the district, from teachers helping teachers, to programs that help students land jobs.
He’s pledging to be open, honest, and to serve the children of Hamilton County.
“6 months from now I’d like people to be thinking, he’s listened, and he’s responded.