New Hamilton Co. Superintendent discusses challenges for the coming school year

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On Wednesday, new Hamilton County School Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson sat down with reporter Stephanie Santostasi for an extended interview about the year ahead, and the challenges both he and the school system faces.

Click "play" above to watch the full interview.

A looming state takeover, pending lawsuits from a deadly bus crash and rebranding a system many have called broken - Dr. Bryan Johnson admits his new job comes with many challenges.

"I think anytime someone new comes in the biggest challenge is just getting to know the nuances of the system," Johnson said.

During his first 100 days, he plans to spend most of his time listening. (Scroll down to see his full listening tour schedule).

"I think there will be some shifts as we really assess where we are," Johnson added.

Right now, one of his main focuses is figuring out what the county must do with its five failing schools.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has given the county two options - form a partnership zone or allow a state takeover. The deadline to make a decision is quickly approaching.

"I don't think either is your ideal decision," Johnson said.

He says in a perfect world the system wouldn't be in this situation. But, unfortunately we are.

In the next few weeks, Johnson plans to hold community meetings.

"I think it's important that we have community voice," he said.

Johnson also talked about the district's need to rebrand its image.

He's asking The Johnson Group, a local ad firm, to help him fix that.

"I think the challenging thing for school systems, a lot of times the narrative that's painted is not the narrative that actually is," he said.

Johnson's hope is for Hamilton County schools to become one of the most premiere systems in the state.

He moved to Hamilton County with his wife and two children. He tells us both of his kids will attend Hamilton County schools.

Viewer Questions

Ahead of the interview, we also reached out on our Facebook and Twitter page to hear what viewers would like to ask him. Watch his answers to those viewer questions below.

Read Dr. Johnson's full listening tour schedule on the HCDE website or below:

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