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Community Reacts to Superintendent Rick Smith's Retirement Notice

Hamilton County Education Association President Dan Liner says he doesn't believe Superintendent Rick Smith decided to retire for any one reason. "There are many issues that I'm sure superintendent rick smith considered as to whether he wanted to continue to serve or retirement would be in his best interest," Liner said.

Those working to ensure Hamilton County is offering the best public education possible to students are reacting to Smith's retirement notice.

After Smith's remarks last week and his action at the school board meeting on Thursday, education advocates say they did not expect he would make this move.

Hamilton County Education Association President Dan Liner says he doesn't believe Superintendent Rick Smith decided to retire for any one reason.

"There are many issues that I'm sure superintendent rick smith considered as to whether he wanted to continue to serve or retirement would be in his best interest," Liner said.

Unifi-Ed lead the charge, asking parents to let the district know they were not satisfied with what Smith called a "new normal" when he decided to stay.

"We had dozens- over 100 folks- that called or emailed their school board member," Elizabeth Crews with Unifi-Ed said. "So yeah, I think that we really did have an impact on the superintendent stepping down."

She says the latest numbers in a report from the state showfailed leadership of the district.

The report talks about the status of Chattanooga's low preforming, or priority, schools.

"The report cited that there were now nine additional schools that were now scoring in the lowest 10 percent in the state, in addition to the five identified as the i-zone schools," she said.

That's why Liner says he's already looking forward to ideas from new leadership.

"We obviously have some monumental issues in this school system that will demand a leader who has a handle on strategies for responding to these dire circumstances," Liner said.

Unifi Ed is still asking for community input and involvement.

They will continue holding meetings to get people to be involved in the process of superintendent selection.

The next one is a week from now on Monday.

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