Longtime Bradley County educator, school leader Jerry Frazier dies of COVID-19 complications

Contributed photo / Jerry Frazier, longtime Bradley County educator, coach and school system leader.

Longtime Bradley County teacher, principal, coach, former superintendent and current school board member Jerry Frazier has died, according to a statement issued Wednesday by Bradley County Schools.

Frazier died early Tuesday of complications of COVID-19, according to reports in the Cleveland Daily Banner.

"Jerry Frazier was kind, caring, a respected leader, as well as an advocate for students and educators. His tenacity and steadfast resolve in fighting for equity for teachers and students will remain his legacy," Bradley County Director of Schools Dr. Linda Cash said in the statement. "Mr. Jerry Frazier was a passionate champion of Bradley County Schools and his loss leaves a void that will never be filled. May we all remember the impact that he had in transforming Bradley County Schools."

Frazier, described by school officials as "a man of faith who always put God and family first," began his career in education in 1970 at Bradley Central High School serving as a teacher, coach and administrator until 1996, according to a statement issued by school system officials.

In 1988, he was elected school superintendent. Frazier's last position as an educator in Tennessee was as principal of Charleston High School in 1999, then he continued in education another 10 years in Georgia. After his work in Georgia, Frazier was elected to the Bradley County school board and was serving his second term when he died, officials said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Frazier family during this time of tremendous loss," school officials said in the statement. "Mr. Frazier was an education icon who devoted his life to the betterment of the students in Bradley County. He was a true public servant in every aspect of the word and was loved by all who knew him."

The Bradley County Commission holds the family of Jerry Frazier close in thoughts and prayers," reads a statement posted on the Bradley County Commission's social media page. "Jerry, 7th District Bradley County School Board member and longtime educator, will be sorely missed by this commission and the community as a whole."

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.