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(Courtesy photo) Hamilton County Schools will have some new leadership changes starting this upcoming school year.

Hamilton County Schools will have some administrative changes going into the new school year.

T. Nakia Towns, chief of staff for Hamilton County Schools, has the new title of deputy superintendent.

According to a news release, her new position "reflects a change in her job function to provide supervision support to the superintendent, helping to lead and manage different departments across the school district."

Towns told the Times Free Press the new job title clarifies her current duties along with new responsibilities.

"I look forward to continuing my work and support of [Superintendent] Dr. [Bryan] Johnson and our entire senior leadership team as we progress towards our goal at being the best school district in Tennessee," she said. "Particularly, during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19 and our returning to schools for the upcoming year on Wednesday I just think that it is even more urgent and important for us to work really well together as we go into the new school year."

Towns joined Hamilton County Schools in February 2018 from the Tennessee Department of Education, where she served as assistant commissioner of data and research. Before her work at the Tennessee Department of Education, Towns served as chief accountability officer, director of human capital strategy and interim executive director of Human Resources for Knox County Schools in Knoxville. She holds an engineering degree and Master of Business Administration from Duke University and a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University.

Chief Talent Officer Keith Fogleman will retire in September. Fogleman came to Hamilton County Schools in January 2018. Penny Murray, director of Human Resource Operations, will take over as the new chief talent officer. Murray has worked in the Human Resources Department for Hamilton County Schools since January 2011.

Murray earned her bachelor's degree at Tennessee Tech, and she has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.

Jennifer Bronson will serve as the leader for the district's COVID-19 response. Bronson has been with Hamilton County Schools since July 2019, when she launched the Student Success Planning pilot in partnership with Harvard University's Education Redesign Lab and the By All Means consortium.

Sonia Stewart joins Hamilton County Schools as the community superintendent for the MidTown Learning Community. She has a doctorate in education, leadership, and policy from Vanderbilt University, a master's degree in educational leadership from Trevecca University, and a bachelor's in mathematics from Biola University.

Tim Hensley, the district's communications officer, will retire from the district in December after 32 years in school communications in Georgia and Tennessee. Hensley came to Hamilton County Schools in 2017.

He was elected president and Southeast Region vice-president of the National School Public Relations Association. He was the recipient of the association's Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award in 2016.

"It has been rewarding personally and professionally to work alongside a great team focused on the future of every child and to see the school district begin to realize the extraordinary possibilities for success that can be reached when the community works together for children."

The school district is searching for Hensley's replacement.

Contact Monique Brand at mbrand@timesfreepress.com.

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