published Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Whatever happened to ... Ex-superintendent enjoying retirement in Dallas

Former Hamilton County School Superintendent Jim Scales now lives in the Dallas area.
Former Hamilton County School Superintendent Jim Scales now lives in the Dallas area.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Question: Whatever happened to former Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales?

Answer: Since being ousted as the county's schools chief in the summer of 2011, Scales and his wife sold their East Brainerd home and moved back to the Dallas area, where they had previously lived.

The Hamilton County Board of Education selected Scales as its superintendent in 2006 after Jesse Register was pushed to retirement a year before his contract expired. Register is now the superintendent of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

But board members began to sour on Scales. And many preferred an insider -- not someone from out of state -- in the school district's top office. The board bought out Scales' contract, then promoted longtime school system administrator Rick Smith to the superintendent post.

Nowadays, Scales said, he and his wife are enjoying retirement.

"We're not really up to a whole lot," he said.

Though his departure from Chattanooga was tempestuous and high-profile, he's not resentful.

"We have lots of great friends and a lot of great positive memories from our five years there," he said.

This update was written by staff writer Kevin Hardy. Contact him at or 423-757-2712.

To suggest a topic for Whatever Happened To, email news@timesfree

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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