SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Jeff Perry (Hamblen County)

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The Superintendent Spotlight for April 2019 is Dr. Jeff Perry who has been the Director of Schools in Hamblen County for two years. While they are working on a wide variety of projects in Hamblen County Schools, they base their work on three questions: 1) What should we be teaching? 2) How do we know if students learned what we taught? 3) What are we going to do if they didn’t learn it?

Take a look at the many great things they’re working on in Dr. Perry’s district!

  • Right now, they are attempting to better define the curriculum and ensure their teachers know exactly what to teach.

  • Second, they are developing an online depository of resources, materials, and support documents which will allow their teachers to effectively implement the curriculum so they can spend more time teaching as opposed to spending time looking for resources.

  • Third, they are developing and refining their pacing guides to ensure they are able to implement the entire curriculum during the year.

  • Fourth, they are creating quarterly benchmark assessments to determine the progress students are making throughout the year. This will enable them to provide surgical instruction and to effectively intervene before the end of the year.

  • Fifth, they are placing a huge emphasis on preschool and attempting to address the growing number of students with serious cognitive and emotional issues.

  • Sixth, they are reviewing their intervention strategies and procedures to ensure they provide the necessary actions to help students be successful.

  • Finally, current research indicates approximately 70% of the future jobs will require less than a two year degree. They are promoting CTE as a viable pathway for their students. Hamblen County is a heavy industry-based community and they offer a number of quality careers for their students.

Dr. Perry has a true passion for education, which was evident when we asked what motivates him in his work.

I came from a very poor family from south-western Virginia. My mother raised four children alone because our father left us when we were very young. Neither my mother or father graduated from high school and education was not seen as important. However, I was fortunate to have a number of quality educators come into my life and provide me with an opportunity to succeed. I have always held the belief that public school education is the great equalizer in this nation. It is the single source that can provide anyone with the opportunity to be successful. I possess the deep conviction that public school education is the only hope that many of our students have and it is my job to provide that opportunity. I have dedicated my entire professional career to this endeavor and I still have that deep passion for helping staff and students be successful.

Fun Fact about Dr. Perry:

I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. We are currently building our own log home in Hamblen County and love building. We have climbed to the highest mountain in 49 states and over 40 of the peaks above 14,000 feet. Alaska is a tough high point to conquer because of the time commitment and time of year to climb. We have hiked over 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail and hope to complete it section by section. I was extremely proud to be ranked 4th in the state of VA as the highest academic producing districts. This was with over 50% of our students being economically disadvantaged. I believe this is my calling and my entire professional career is simply an attempt to give back to those who gave so much to me.