Experience: 14 years in Catoosa County Schools as special education teacher, assistant principal, principal and director of operations; retail and sales experience at P&S Office and School Supply and KB Toys
Education: Education specialist degree in administration, Lincoln Memorial University; bachelor's degree in organizational management, Tennessee Temple University; master's degree in special education, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
The Walker County Board of Education has offered the job of superintendent to Damon Raines, a longtime employee at nearby Catoosa County Schools.
Pending contract negotiations, Raines will succeed Craig Davoulas, the school system's director of personnel who has been interim superintendent since the retirement of Superintendent Melissa Mathis last fall.
Raines has 14 years of local experience as a teacher, principal, assistant principal and district administrator in addition to a background in sales and retail work. In his current role as Catoosa's director of operations, Raines oversees transportation, maintenance, operations, facilities, child nutrition, energy management, school safety and bidding processes, he said.
"I think the combination of all that experience has prepared me for this next step in my career," he said. "I continue to hear so many innovative things they're doing there in Walker County with their students. I'm excited to start."
The Walker school board held a series of closed interviews several weeks ago after narrowing the pool of applicants. School board Vice Chairwoman Phyllis Hunter said the group interviewed about seven candidates, including internal applicants, before making its decision Monday.
"It was a hard decision. We had some really good candidates," Hunter said. "It was tough, but we think we made the right choice."
Aside from Raines' other attributes, Hunter said she expected he will be a good leader because of his experience in Catoosa County.
"Personally, I think when you pull someone in that's that close, they're more familiar with the challenges that are ahead," she said. "They're going to be very similar to the ones he's seen. Also, he'll be familiar with the good things happening in this area."
Raines' contract with Catoosa County runs until June 30. He and the board are negotiating terms of his new contract in Walker County.