ETE CITIZEN’S SPACE
- Hubert Smith
- Political Pundit and
- Host of the Hubert Smith Show
- February 19, 2022
I was one of only a handful of people not associated with Knox County Schools in attendance yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 17 community forum at Bearden High School) to watch and listen to candidates respond to questions from the Knox County Board of Education.
I listened to both presentations in their entirety. I watched the body language of board members as well as candidates’ answers and their body language. The candidates were: Dr. Linda Cash and Dr. Jon Rysewyk. In my opinion, Dr. Cash’s presentation was superior.
Her (Dr. Cash’s) presentation and answers to questions were interesting, fresh, and something different. She also showed a sense of humor. Rysewyk, not so much. Clearly, he’s a policy wonk. We need policy wonks, but not to be the face and voice of the school system. He’s clearly an insider from the mold of (current KCS Supt.) Jim McIntyre, who I believe was a good superintendent, but a policy wonk all the same. I also believe McIntyre had a great personality. Rysewyk lacks that also important trait. KCS needs a kick in the pants.
Cash will bring the fresh look the system needs, as they complete moving to their new home in TVA East Tower. Rysewyk is more of the same. Besides, isn’t it time a woman was at the helm? If memory serves me correctly, the last woman superintendent in Knox County was the late Mildred Doyle (served 30 years, 1946 – 1976). We don’t need more of the same if we’re going to improve KCS.
During the presentation yesterday, Cash spoke more from her heart with passion, from her experience as an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, and director of schools. One would think, with 7 of 9 board members female, that Cash will have a good shot. Let’s see if the good ole girls act like the good ole boys, or break the mold and choose the best candidate, Dr. Linda Cash.
About the author: Hubert Smith is the producer and host of The Hubert Smith Talk Show on Community Television of Knoxville. It airs each Friday from 4-4:30 p.m. EST, online at ctvknox.org, and on cable. He can be reached at [email protected].
Editor’s note: According to Smith, he has also attended some of the Knox County School Board’s interviews and meetings with the candidates prior to the community meeting. Smith’s opinion was not formed from one public meeting, as he has been paying attention throughout the process.