Commissioner McQueen Names Greene County Superintendent Chief Academic Officer
CAO Will Lead Instructional Teams, Including New College and Career Readiness Division
NASHVILLE— Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today announced that Dr. Vicki Kirk, superintendent of Greene County Schools, will join the Tennessee Department of Education as the chief academic officer and one of three deputy commissioners.
Kirk currently leads the Greene County School System, serving approximately 7,500 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. She brings over two decades of education experience in Tennessee, seven years in the classroom and 16 years in leadership positions. Kirk has served as Greene County Director of Schools for the past five years; prior to that she served as the Assistant Director of Greeneville City schools for a decade.
Kirk will lead the academic divisions of curriculum and instruction, special populations, teachers and leaders, and CORE district support offices. She will also manage the newly named division of the department, college and career readiness, which is dedicated to connecting the department’s work around strategies that will lead high school students to success during and after graduation. The division will also be responsible for early postsecondary coursework, cross agency collaboration through Pathways TN, and Career and Technical Education or CTE.
“We know that Tennessee students must be prepared to succeed after high school in a world that is constantly evolving, and Vicki is the ideal candidate to lead our academic divisions supporting this work,” McQueen said. “Her years of experience as a district leader will provide valuable insight into the unique challenges and opportunities at the local level.”
Kirk has worked to increase opportunities for Greene County students to become college and career ready by adding dual enrollment courses, increasing the number of Advanced Placement or AP courses offered in the county, and establishing a career pathways program that leads students through certain areas of study closely aligned to their career goals.
“This is an incredible opportunity to connect the work I did on the ground as a superintendent with the unprecedented access Tennessee students have to college and career options,” Kirk said. “I look forward to bringing my experience from the field to the department’s work supporting the nearly one million students across the state.”
Kirk has a bachelor’s, a master’s, and Ed.D. from East Tennessee State University. Her first day at the department will be April 6.
Kirk fills the department’s third deputy commissioner position. Commissioner McQueen previously announced Deputy Commissioner Kathleen Airhart would serve as the department’s chief operating officer and named Stephen Smith deputy commissioner for policy and external affairs.
For more information, contact Ashley Ball at (615) 532-6260 or Ashley.M.Ball@tn.gov.