Hamilton County school board elects new chairman

Dr. Steve Highlander speaks Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, at the Hamilton County Department of Education.

For the next year, Steve Highlander will be the chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Education and will lead the nine-member board as it looks to hire the district's next superintendent.

Highlander was unanimously elected to the position Tuesday night after school board member Rhonda Thurman declined a nomination for the job. The board also unanimously elected Karitsa Mosley Jones to serve as vice-chairwoman.

Following those votes, the board interviewed three search firms vying to assist the district in its superintendent search.

The Tennessee School Boards Association presented first, highlighting how the nonprofit organization knows the local landscape and has experience serving school boards across the state.

"We know the state," said Randy Bennett, general counsel at TSBA. "We know what your needs are as a school board."

TSBA is the cheapest of the applicants interviewed, with a flat cost of about $30,000.