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Knox County Board of Education District 6

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  • Candidate picture

    Betsy Henderson
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Phillip Michael Sherman
    (I)

Información Biográfica

What professional and personal experiences make you the best candidate for this position?

Describe the top two challenges facing Knox County. What specific actions would you propose to address these challenges?

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Campaign Phone 865-310-7113
Campaign Email shermanforboe6@gmail.com
Campaign Website http://shermanforthe6th.com
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Sherman4the6th
I am an educator. My sixteen year career in postsecondary education has provided me with a unique perspective on the mission of Knox County Schools. I have had many KCS graduates in my own classrooms over the years and have gained valuable insight into what a 'ready graduate' should look like. I have also worked on numerous committees during my career which have required navigating institutional mission, fiscal responsibility and financial limitations, accreditation requirements, design and implementation of curriculum, and attention to details. This work has all taken place in the context of professional collaboration with colleagues and external partners. Working with others to resolve conflict, build consensus, and move forward together has been central to my career. In everything, my goal has been to help craft educational contexts marked by excellence and equal opportunities.

I have also been very involved with several local religious communities. My involvement has often taken the form of facilitating congregational conversations around topics of interest or concern. This type of educational work requires listening carefully to all participants and building trust so that genuine dialogue and learning can occur.

I am running as an Independent candidate. I believe that independent thinking and non-partisan approaches best serve the students, families, and educators of Knox County Schools. An independent voice would also help the Board model the engaged and critical thinking skills we want our students to master.
Teacher recruitment and retention is the top priority. Education has always been a demanding profession. The pandemic made clear the width and breadth of work undertaken by our teachers, support staff, and administrators. While they rose to every challenge, our current model of staffing is not sustainable. We must explore how best to recruit new educators and support staff. We must also better support on-going professional development for our current educators. I will advocate for processes to determine when and why some teachers choose to leave the teaching profession. We need a clearer understanding of our retention problem before we can hope to address the challenge. Educators do the important work of educating students best when they are happy and find their work fulfilling and supported. I will work to engage with teachers, support staff, and administrators to discern how to best support the work they do and to identify those dynamics which sometimes prevent the work from being fulfilling.

The transparency and accountability of the Board is a second priority. The Board must work together to model critical engagement with all stakeholders in Knox County Schools: teachers, support staff, administrators, families and students. Building informed consensus is a challenging, but essential, task. I promise to provide regular updates about matters coming before the Board and to explain every vote I take. I commit to holding myself to high professional standards and will serve as a thoughtful and informed colleague.