Dr. Nakia Towns elected interim superintendent for Hamilton County Schools

Dr. Nakia Towns

In a special called Hamilton County School Board meeting on Monday night, Dr. Nakia Towns was elected as the district’s interim superintendent for the 2021-22 school year.

The vote was 5 to 3, with board members Joe Smith, Rhonda Thurman and Joe Wingate voting for Dr. Zac Brown, director of induction and leadership development for the district.

Dr. Towns was one of three candidates to apply for the job. The other two candidates being Dr. Brown and Red Bank Middle School Principal Dr. John Tharp.

Dr. Towns will take over as interim superintendent when Dr. Bryan Johnson resigns on Aug. 17. Dr. Johnson has announced he will take on a newly created position as chief of staff for US Xpress, a Chattanooga-based trucking and logistics company.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be named interim superintendent of Hamilton County Schools,” Dr. Towns said. “I look forward to extending the outstanding work of Dr. Bryan Johnson and wish him the best as he departs from the district on Aug. 17. My top priority is to ensure a smooth transition for our families as we prepare to return to school in less than a month.”

Dr. Towns joined the district’s leadership team in 2017 as chief of staff before becoming deputy superintendent, a role she’s held since 2018.

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University and previously worked in roles at the Tennessee Department of Education and Knox County Schools.

Board policy 5.801 for the Hamilton County Department of Education mandates that the interim superintendent will not be eligible for the permanent role unless the board makes an exception.

The board will meet on July 26 to discuss the search for a permanent superintendent.