Tony Norman Kicks Off School Board Campaign

By Sally Absher


Tony Norman kicked off his campaign for the Third District seat on the Knox County Board of Education last week, with a reception Thursday evening at the Cedar Bluff Holiday Inn.

In announcing his candidacy, Norman said, “As you know, the past few years have been chaotic for Knox County Schools. Administrative scandals have been common and massive amounts of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on failed policies and practices. Our teachers and students are under attack by so-called educational reformers.”

“I have decided to seek election to the School Board representing the 3rd District. Our community needs someone who will advocate for our district; not the special interests, but citizens. We need a school board representative who will insist on programs that help teachers to better teach our kids and see that the dollars are spent in the classrooms, not for pensions for administrators or simply a bigger bureaucracy. We need some common sense and plain talk on the Board of Education.”

Norman is not new to education, or to public service. He taught biology and ecology in Knox County Schools for 30 years, including 20 years at Farragut and 10 years at West High School, retiring after the 2007-2008 school year. His wife, Jani, taught business at West High for 28 years and retired in 2012. The Normans have fond memories of West High School, going back to when they met and were high school sweethearts while students at West.

Norman also served two terms as the Third District representative on County Commission, beginning back before the Charter Amendments reduced Commission from 19 to the current 11 members. While on Commission, Norman was perhaps best known for his work on the county land use (Hillside and Ridgetop) plan, but he was always very involved with education issues including the annual school budget negotiations.

We asked Norman what skills and experience he brings to the school board. He replied, “My education experience gives me a certain perspective, but I also have a legislating perspective from having served on County Commission.” He believes that his dual background would be a huge asset to the Board, because he understands how Commission works and has a good relationship with current Commissioners, many of whom attended his kick-off event.

Norman has appointed David Watson to be his treasurer. He adds, “If you want to share your thoughts, or merely let me know I can count on you, please give me a call (865-524-4301) or send me an email (rexanthonynorman@gmail.com). I’d like to hear from you, as I want to know what you think about our schools and ways to improve them.”