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Hawkins director of schools outlines his three main goals

MATT HIXSON • Jul 6, 2019 at 11:36 AM

My name is Matt Hixson, and I have been blessed with the honor of serving Hawkins County Schools as Director of Schools.

I know many of you wondered why Hawkins County Board of Education would hire someone from out-of-state, let alone California for the Director of Schools position.

I also can’t help but wonder if some or most of you have been skeptical about what this change will bring to Hawkins County Schools. I want to put your minds at ease. My leadership centers on three simple goals.

A Safe School environment

First, safety. Without safe school environments, our students will not be successful. To this end, we are currently working to secure a School Resource Officer (SRO) at every campus in the near future. Currently, several school sites share SRO deputies.

Setting up students for success

Second, student preparedness. We must set our students up for success after high school. This includes strengthening our Career and Technical Education (CTE), vocational, and dual enrollment offerings for our students.

Our graduates must be prepared to enter college, the workforce, vocational or trade school, or the military well prepared. I am excited to announce a pilot program for Hawkins County, beginning this fall.

We will start the Hawkins County Virtual Academy (HCVA), offering free virtual classes for any qualifying Hawkins County student. This program will be academically challenging and geared for students who do well with independent learning and seize the opportunity to have a flexible schedule.

Students enrolled in this hybrid model may take some courses online and some courses at their local zoned school, TCAT center or college. Please watch for the HCVA press release for additional information.

Communication and transparency

Third, transparency. As stakeholders in our school system, you need to know what we are doing with the resources you provide to educate our students.

You will receive notices of stakeholder input meetings for the upcoming school year. These meetings will include information of what Hawkins County Schools is doing this year, where we stand with achievement goals, and what we are doing to target challenges. You will also be afforded the opportunity to ask our staff questions.

The board and I are also working on a schedule to host board meetings at various locations throughout the county in order to increase stakeholder input and awareness of our work.

We are also strengthening our parent communication through Twitter, Facebook, a new school system website, and an enhanced student information/parent communication system.

I look forward to working with you during the upcoming year

We have a great community, amazing schools, determined and gifted teachers and staff, and supportive parents, community members, and business partners who are all dedicated to student success.

Thank you for welcoming me and my family to this amazing community. I look forward to serving you as director of schools and cannot wait to see what we can do together in making sure all Hawkins county graduates are well prepared for their future.