Rick Smith is out again as Hamilton County School Superintendent

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Last month, he was on his way out.

Then last week, he was back.

Now Rick Smith is out again as Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools.

Monday he suddenly announced he is retiring and he will leave his post immediately.

“Today I am announcing my retirement from Hamilton County Schools. My retirement will be effective July 1, 2016. I will be taking leave effective immediately. Until such time as an interim Superintendent is named, the day-to-day operations will be delegated to the executive staff members and administrative assistants. It has been my honor to serve Hamilton County Schools these many years. I would like to thank students, parents and especially all Hamilton County Department of Education employees for their support. My family and I wish only the very best for our Hamilton County public school system.”

Just last week, the superintendent held an extensive press conference on his plans for the next three years.

He said then that his first job was rebuilding trust with the school board and community.


Some reaction from school board members:

Rhonda Thurman: “His last report was the last straw.”

She told us she was concerned about other people in the administration who will be running things now.

“Nobody inside the administration office is ever held accountable.”


David Testerman is a Rick Smith supporter. He gave an impassioned defense of the superintendent during the Ooltewah crisis.

Today he tells us he was taken by surprise by the announcement.

“He has given just about his entire life to the county school system.”

“The last few months have been a hurtful thing to him.”

Categories: Education, Government & Politics, Hamilton County, Local News

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