Courageous, bold, strong. Those are some of the many words to describe Dr. Jeff Perry, Superintendent of Hamblen County Schools. Perry became Superintendent in 2018 after the previous Superintendent, Dr. Dale Lynch, left to pursue opportunities with the state as T.O.S.S. director. Listening to teachers and students since the moment Perry came to Hamblen, he has shown true care. Perry has been through a lot, from school threats on social media early on in his tenure, to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has shown courage and strength and kept Hamblen County schools on track.
Perry has been praised by many for how he has handled the past few years. Putting teachers and students safety and education at the top of his priorities. With such uncertainty arising in 2020, Perry showed that a pandemic would not ruin his time as superintendent. He helped drive the COVID-19 task force for Hamblen County. Perry has worked with Food On Foot to help feed kids in need and ensured the delivery of thousands of meals when the pandemic began while providing bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and others jobs.
Perry has been the head of many projects in the school system. From major additions to Morristown-Hamblen High School West, the biggest and quickest technology rollout in Hamblen County History, to proposing a new building for Lincoln Elementary. Whilst heading all of these projects, he kept those that matter most first, the teachers and students. Perry introduced a new program called Grow Your Own Teacher where the school system will hire students as teachers assistants, after they attend Walters State through Tennessee Promise, and pay for them to attend Western Governors University as long as they commit to teaching in Hamblen County.
From writing personal thank you cards, to giving teachers dedicated time off if they
had COVID, Perry demonstrated true care for his
co-workers. Perry allowed students to give input through Students forums. He also writes a column for the Citizen Tribune every week called “School Matters,” where Perry relays new information to the community, which is another key area Perry cares about. He regularly attends meetings with the County Commission and has always kept open communication with officials.
West Side Story Staff would like to publicly thank Dr. Perry for his support in pushing a new era of West Side Story with the launch of our website which has shown the true capabilities of what Hamblen County Students can accomplish.
On behalf of the Trojan Nation, we thank you, Dr. Perry, for your many years of extraordinary leadership and unconditional care for the students, teachers, and staff of Hamblen County Schools.