Damon Raines, who is director of operations for the Catoosa County school system, will take over as school chief of the Walker County system next year, Womack said.
His appointment is subject to reaching an acceptable contract, she said.
The Walker County Board of Education approved Raines during a meeting Monday night, March 19.
Craig Davoulas, the Walker school system’s director of personnel, is serving as interim superintendent.
“Mr. Damon Raines embodies the experience, abilities and expertise needed for the position of superintendent, both to lead Walker County (Public) Schools and to continue to raise student achievement,” school board chairwoman Patty Hart said.
He was selected from 25 qualified applicants. Ten were interviewed during two days in early March, Hart said.
School board members hope Raines can transition between positions within the next few weeks, she said.
Raines, before becoming director of operations for the Catoosa school system, served as an assistant principal at Ringgold Elementary, beginning in 2002, Womack said. During 2006 he served as principal at the school, which was recognized as a Georgia School of Excellence, she said.
“Students want to learn,” Raines said, “It is our duty and responsibility as professional educators to come alongside and properly guide them through this amazing journey.”
Raines has a bachelor of science degree in operational management from Covenant College and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Womack said. He holds an educational specialist degree in administration from Lincoln Memorial University, she said.
He was an operations manager at P&S School Supply from 1986-89, she said. Raines gained retail management and personnel supervision experience while at KB Toys from 1989-98.
“I came into the field of education with a variety of life experiences totally unrelated to the traditional path into this career,” Raines said. “I was formally trained in the business community and saw the value of taking care of my customers years before feeling the call to become an educator.
“In my opinion, this focus on customer service is the main prerequisite to the foundation of a proper education. Students come to us with a genuine excitement and desire to learn,” he said. “This gives momentum to the thought that every child can learn and will at the level of your expectation.”
He met with school principals during a leadership meeting at the Advanced Education Center in Chickamauga on Tuesday morning, March 20.
Raines, a native of LaFollette, Tenn., lives in Catoosa County and is a board member on the county’s Chamber of Commerce, she said.