Knox school chief quits, cites ‘dysfunctional’ politics

Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre said Monday that he is stepping down from his post, saying politics around education — and himself — have begun to overshadow the work.

Further from the News-Sentinel:

Effective July 8, McIntyre will leave the position he has held since July 2008, in exchange for a severance payment equal to one year’s salary, he said during a news conference at the Andrew Johnson Building.

“We stand today at sort of a strange place where educationally we are more successful than ever, yet politically there seems to be more negativity and noise,” he said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is serve the children and families of our community as superintendent of the Knox County Schools … however, the current political environment has become increasingly dysfunctional, at times overtly antagonistic and seemingly untenable.

“In recent months the conversation has all too often become about me or the school board or other elected officials rather than around the effective education of our children.”

McIntyre said he weighed the recent controversy around the renewing of his contract and a shift of support after this year’s school board election in making his decision over the holidays.

In November, the school board approved a renewal of McIntyre’s contract that included extending his employment through December 2019 and giving him a 2 percent raise, bringing his base salary to $227,256 per year. The new contract, which has not been executed and signed by all parties, was approved by the board in a 5-4 vote.