Retiring Lenoir City Schools Superintendent Wayne Miller still
has school on the brain.
Miller was this week named executive director of the Tennessee
Organization of School Superintendents. In his new role, he will represent Tennessee schools in
legislation and preside over superintendents in Tennessee public schools.
To Miller, it's an
unbelievable turn in his career. To friends and colleagues, it's an honor that he will represent the
local school system.
"I think that it speaks very well of the school system and the school
board that our leader has been chosen out of all the people in the state," BOE member Glenn McNish
Miller has served as superintendent since 2000. He told the News-Herald in a previous
interview that he planned on retiring in December to make a smoother transition for the system and
the new superintendent. He will join TOSS in Nashville at the start of the new
"Basically, I'll be the legislative superintendent for school systems in the state. ...
(It is) primarily legislative but also academic concerns that superintendents have that may require
legislative direction or change," Miller said. "That most often is done through the TOSS
organization. As the director of that organization, I will be responsible for making sure
appropriate legislators got the information and we're working with the state board of education and
the state department of education, TSBA (Tennessee School Boards Association), TEA (Tennessee
Education Association), all the equal partners in making it successful for kids.
pretty big deal," he said.
Miller said he planned to spend more time on his hobbies, like
photography and fishing. When the opportunity arose after he announced his retirement, it was too
sweet of a deal to pass up.
"It's a phenomenal way to cap off a career," Miller said. "...
This job became available and I really wanted maybe one more shot at having some input at a
different level and this is definitely that opportunity. It's just a real honor."
he feels "excited" about the new adventure, Miller said it was never a position he considered coming
up through the education ranks.
Charles Cagle, an attorney and general counselor for TOSS,
said the organization thought Miller seemed like the perfect candidate.
"Wayne came in and
he was himself. He was very genuine in all those meetings. He was able to state with specificity his
goals for the TOSS organization," Cagle said. "And, of course, Wayne is not new to this. He's been
around a long time. People know the qualities that he has. I think that's it all in a
"They know him, he was able to articulate the way he wanted the TOSS organization
to go and they've know him long enough to trust him and know he's a hard worker," he said. "I'm
very, very happy and pleased he's taking that position."
Spending the last 27 years of his
career in the school system, Miller said Lenoir City will always be close to his heart. He plans to
spend his weekdays in Nashville and come back home on the weekend.
BOE members Rosemary
Quillen, Bobby Johnson Sr. and McNish said Miller was and still will be a friend, and they believe
they can never replace him.
"He's built such a wonderful school system here and we're going
to miss him," Quillen, chairwoman of the board, said. The board will consider applicants from across
"I'm personally looking for someone that will step in and continue our vision,"
she said. "We're all working toward the same goals and we're looking for someone that is willing to
work with us and continue what we've started. We're not going to go in another direction. We're not
looking to start out on a different tangent. We want somebody that is going to follow what we're
doing and continue on with our vision."
At Friday's BOE workshop, board members conferred
with Cagle on how to approach searching for a new superintendent. Though Cagle said TOSS has
received numerous phone calls about the soon-to-be open position, the school system will post an
online application Oct. 5 on its website.
Cagle suggested the board follow a strict timeline
to have someone on board by the time Miller leaves in December. The application deadline is Oct.