Kirk Kelly names Jill Levine chief academic officer

Jill Levine speaks to the Hamilton County Board of Education Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Hamilton County School Board building.

Wasting no time, Hamilton County Schools' newly appointed interim superintendent, Kirk Kelly, began making staffing changes in the district's central office this week.

Kelly tapped Jill Levine, principal at Normal Park Museum Magnet, to fill the newly created position of chief academic officer Wednesday. And he said more changes are coming.

In her position, Levine will report directly to Kelly and oversee curriculum and instruction, as well as school operations. Kelly, who along with Levine interviewed last week for the interim superintendent position, said the district soon will look to hire two new assistant superintendents - one over instruction and the other over operations - and both will report to Levine.

"This is a great opportunity for the community to make change and move forward," Kelly said Wednesday. "Today's action is just basically a first step."

Kelly said adding this position is budget neutral because of the repurposing and refocusing of other administrative positions.

On Wednesday, Levine said Kelly's quick action to begin reorganizing the central office is in response to the community and school board's request for change, and she is excited to serve on his team.

"I want to focus on restoring the joy of learning to school," Levine said.

As a principal, Levine continually emphasized the importance of hiring good teachers, and said she hopes to support teachers and provide them with the opportunities they need to thrive in the classroom.

Levine on Wednesday morning sent an email to her staff at Normal Park informing them that as of May 9 she will be moving to the central office. She said two assistant principals will be taking over for the remainder of the school year. A new principal will be named in the coming weeks.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at or 423-757-6592. Follow on twitter @kendi_and.