Staff file photo/ The Hamilton County Schools Central Offices are at 3074 Hickory Valley Road.

Candidate forum for District 9 school board seat to be held next week

A forum for candidates interested in the District 9 school board seat for Hamilton County Schools will be held Tuesday, July 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hamilton County Department of Education.

Applicants for the seat will be allotted four minutes to share their qualifications, backgrounds and interests, and given two minutes to answer questions shared in advance.

District 9 residents can email their questions for applicants to Sherrie Ford, executive assistant to the school board, at, along with the resident's name and address. The event will also be livestreamed on the Hamilton County Schools YouTube channel.

The emcee of the event, Lebron Sterchi, is a former teacher and school administrator and a lifelong resident of the district. Steve Highlander, former District 9 school board member and current District 9 county commissioner, will be in attendance with Superintendent Bryan Johnson for a brief greeting.

Highlander served on the school board for seven years before his appointment to the Hamilton County Commission on June 9. District 9 encompasses Apison, Collegedale, Harrison and Ooltewah.

For questions, contact Highlander by phone at 423-209-7200 or email at


Cleveland State president appoints new assistant director of institutional research

Doyle Hawkins has been appointed the assistant director of institutional research at Cleveland State Community College.

"Doyle Hawkins has worked at Cleveland State for over 25 years," said John Squires, executive director of institutional research and effectiveness and executive director for advancement and planning, in a news release. "His knowledge of Cleveland State Community College and his experience working with state and federal agencies make him the perfect choice to serve as the assistant director of institutional research."

Hawkins graduated from Cleveland State and started in the department of institutional research as a technician. Before joining the department, he also worked at the college as cashier for the business office and admissions coordinator.

"I would like to thank Dr. John Squires, as well as Dr. Seymour, for this great opportunity to now serve as assistant director of institutional research," Hawkins said in a news release. "With my 13+ years of working in Institutional Research, I will continue the role I currently do, as well as manage the team in Institutional Research & Effectiveness."


Unum and Chattanooga State partnership will expand tutoring opportunities

Unum donated $225,000 to Chattanooga State Community College earlier this month to expand tutoring resources at the school.

"Abundant evidence points to the dramatic and positive impact that a seven-week class schedule has on student success," said Beth Norton, vice president of academic affairs, in a news release. "Evidence also shows that students who take advantage of tutoring experience higher grades and improved graduation rates."

Chattanooga State offers free tutoring to all students, including a reading and writing center, math center and free access to 24/7 learning support at Students can also schedule tutoring sessions for certain subjects and courses such as history, engineering and information technology and early childhood education on the Chattanooga State website.

"Unum is proud to partner with Chattanooga State and invest $225,000 to support expanded tutoring to help more students at Chattanooga State improve their grades, complete their degrees and achieve their dreams," said Tom White, Chattanooga State Foundation board member, senior vice president of investor relations at Unum and regent with Tennessee Board of Regents-The College System of Tennessee, in a news release.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at or 423-757-6592.