Roger Collins, one of three finalists for Oak Ridge Schools superintendent, was in town Friday to meet with local leaders and school administrators and tour the city.
Collins is now the superintendent of Nelson County Schools in Lovingston, Va. That system has 2,000 students, and it’s close to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, Collins said.
He said Nelson County and Oak Ridge both have quality school systems.
“Oak Ridge has a unique story, and the Oak Ridge schools have a specific focus on math and science,” Collins said. “It appears that way to me.”
Collins has been a teacher, assistant principal, and assistant superintendent. He’s been superintendent in Nelson County for 10 years.
He said he’s very happy with his current job but also interested in a new career opportunity.
“This is a unique system with unbridled potential,” Collins said of Oak Ridge Schools.
The other two finalists—Dan Lawson, superintendent of Tullahoma City Schools in Tullahoma, Tenn., and Neyland Clark, superintendent of South Harrison Community Schools in Corydon, Ind.—could tour Oak Ridge later.
The search for a new superintendent started in June. Executive search firm Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is helping the Oak Ridge Board of Education select a new school leader.
The current superintendent, Tom Bailey, is retiring at the end of the year after 10 years on the job.
BOE Chair Keys Fillauer has said he will recommend during a Jan. 7 meeting that the board hire former Oak Ridge Superintendent Bob Smallridge as interim superintendent until a new superintendent is selected.
The Oak Ridge school system has more than 4,000 students, one high school, two middle schools, four elementary schools, and a preschool.