SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Branson Townsend (Decatur County)

This month, TOSS is happy to highlight Branson Townsend as our Superintendent Spotlight!  He has served has the Director of Schools in Decatur County for nearly two years now. 

Mr. Townsend was excited to share that his district was invited by the TN Department of Education to participate in the state Teacher-Leader Network, which has helped Decatur County Schools identify exemplary leadership practices and build a strong culture that emphasizes the importance of teacher leadership.  He said, "effective teachers can serve a critical role in providing high-quality, relevant, and ongoing professional learning.  The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality identified seven areas that effective teacher leadership can foster in schools.  Each of these has been crucial in providing support for educators in our district.  We are using the experience of the Teacher-Leader Network to support our efforts to improve teacher quality and student learning; to ensure reform initiative works; to retain, motivate, and reward accomplished teachers; as well as provide opportunities for professional growth, extend principal capacity, and create a more democratic school environment." 

When asked what motivates him in his job, Mr. Townsend listed getting to see the progress made every day through culture changes from shared leadership development in the district as they work to build capacity for teacher growth.  This, in turn, he believes, will lead to improved learning outcomes for all Decatur County students.  


"I have been blessed to come from a family who believes fervently in public education.  Decatur County Riverside High School opened as a newly consolidated high school in the county in 1965, and I was a senior in that 1966 graduating class.  During the 25th anniversary of the school, I was serving as the high school principal, and I have had the opportunity during the 50th anniversary (2015-16 school year) to serve as the district superintendent.  I also had the opportunity to work with the TN Department of Education for 17 years during my education career.  As I begin the second full year of a three-year contract as superintendent of Decatur County Schools, I am humbled more and more each day of the awesome responsibilities of this position.  I recognize that we all must be collectively committed to the education of the generations to follow if we expect our country to remain a leader for peace and prosperity in the world"

Everyone at TOSS applauds Mr. Townsend for his commitment to public education in Tennessee and thank him for sharing his story!