In lieu of its annual awards banquet in Gatlinburg, the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) held a virtual awards banquet on Monday. During the event, Dr. Bryan Johnson of Hamilton County Schools, representing the Southeast region of Tennessee, was named as the 2021 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.
Johnson was selected for this honor out of a distinguished group of eight Regional Superintendents of the Year, which also included Dr. Bruce Brochers (Oak Ridge City), East; Dr. Jeff Perry (Hamblen County), First; Kris McAskill (Houston County), Mid-Cumberland; Jonathan Criswell (Milan Special School District), Northwest; Michelle Gilbert (Hickman County), South Central; Jason Manuel (Germantown Municipal), Southwest; and Kurt Dronebarger (White County), Upper Cumberland Tennessee.
Dr. Johnson just completed his third school year as Superintendent of Schools in Hamilton County with student academic results showing historic levels of improvement. For the first time, the district's overall composite and each subject area measured achieved a Level 5 – the highest level of academic growth on the latest state testing results – and 32 schools achieved Reward status – the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee.
Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, Hamilton County Schools has launched Future Ready Institutes in high schools to help students become future-ready graduates prepared for success; ensured that middle and high schools are 1-to-1 technology schools, providing each student with an electronic learning device; and developed a comprehensive five-year action plan called “Future Ready 2023” to provide a roadmap for continuous improvement efforts as staff and students work to become one of the best school districts in the state.
TOSS Executive Director Dr. Dale Lynch said, “Congratulations to Dr. Johnson and all of the regional nominees. There is no doubt that Dr. Johnson is among the best of the best in educational leadership, not only in Tennessee but nationally. The support he has from his school board, his system, and his community is a testament to his success as a district leader. Dr. Johnson has built a culture in Hamilton County that is focused on doing what is best for students. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with him and to present him this award.”
Dr. Johnson will now go on to represent Tennessee in the National Superintendent of the Year program sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) at its National Conference on Education.
In addition, TOSS gave the George "Kip" Reel Award for Leadership in Education in memory of Dr. Linda Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert was the director in Murfreesboro City Schools from 2010 until she passed away suddenly in May of this year. Her husband, Steve Gilbert, accepted the award on her behalf. The Friend of TOSS Award was given to State Representative Kirk Haston of Lobelville.