Angie Goethert Running for District 3 School Board Seat

By Ken Leinart

Angie Goethert is one of three candidates on the March 5 primary ballot for the District 3 seat on the Knox County Board of Education.

Incumbent Daniel Watson is not running for re-election.

“Every decision the school board makes should be what is best for the students,” Goethert said.

A native of Manchester, Tenn., she moved to Knoxville in 1985 to attend the University of Tennessee. After meeting her husband, John, and graduating from UT, the couple stayed in Knoxville to make a home.

“Knoxville is an amazing place to live,” she said. “And other people are finding that out. We need to make our schools the very best and show we are working for the success of the children.”

Goethert has seen the school system work. She was on the transition team for Dr. Jon Rysewyk when he was named superintendent of Knox County Schools.

“We have to do what’s best for kids,” she said. “If we focus on that then we’re doing our job. And parents should have a say in their student’s education. Then we all win.”

As a parent of two children who graduated from Hardin Valley Academy, Goethert is familiar with Knox County Schools and the vital role the system has in the success of students. Watching her children’s education and taking part of that process has allowed her to see and understand what students go through, the challenges they may face.

She understands the “Three Es (Enroll, Enlist, Employ)” and knows it takes a diverse and flexible system to make sure students’ success continues after they walk across a stage and get a high school diploma.

“We need to do what’s best for kids,” Goethert said. Getting them a diploma is good, setting them up to succeed … Well, that should be part of the arrangement as well.

After graduating from UT she said she worked in retail, opened her own business on Cumberland Avenue, and finally reached a point in her career where she works from home as a consultant.

That has given her time to take part in the education process of son, Cooper, and daughter, Cristina.

The number one priority is literacy. “We have to teach our kids to read,” she said. “That sets the path for success.”

The two paths her children took offer an insight into two points in Goethert’s platform. Cooper graduated in 2020 and, Goethert said, he knew going to college was not something he wanted to do.

“He’s happy taking something apart and then putting it back together,” she said. Cooper attended CTE classes at Byington-Solway and is a diesel mechanic.

“Career and technical education is so important,” she said. “We have to meet those students where they are (in the education process) and be sure we support whatever path they choose.”

The fine arts are also important to Goethert. Her daughter Cristina is a 2023 graduate of Hardin Valley Academy and is now studying music at Tennessee Tech University.

“If students want orchestra, choir … If they want to go to college, to further their education, we need to make sure they can do that,” she said.

Goethert learned the importance of the fine arts through her daughter, who Goethert said, “Has always loved music and is able to pursue that goal.

“Music is important to life.”

Goethert also learned the challenges students face are not always the ones you think of.

“Cristina started high school in 2019 and graduated in 2023,” she said. “Think about that for a minute. It was hard for her. Cooper even said his sister had it harder in school than he did.”

But it also served as another learning tool for Goethert.

And finally, Goethert said, she wants Knoxville’s teachers to stay Knoxville’s teachers and that means paying them.

“I don’t want to see our teachers – and we have great teachers – go to another county because of pay,” she said. “I want them to stay in Knoxville. We have to invest in them.”

Goethert has always been an advocate for students. She learned how to be so by watching her children grow and by volunteering with the schools as much as possible.

“My daughter says I’ve always been an advocate for students,” she said.

Now she wants to be an advocate from the Knox County Board of Education.

“Dr. Rysewyk and his staff and the board are great people always focused on the kids,” she said.

“That has to continue. I feel blessed to have seen what can be done and we have to pay that forward for the next generation.”

District 3 covers Cedar Bluff and some Bearden area schools. Goethert said there are students who live in her district who attend Hardin Valley Academy and Karns High School.

February 5 is the final day to register to vote. Early voting for the March 5 Primary begins Feb. 14.

District 3 is one of four districts selecting a member for the board of education.