KNOXVILLE - Enrollment in the Knoxville Community School District is on the rise after years of decline, Superintendent Cassi Pearson told the School Board at its Monday, Aug. 28 meeting. At least 12 more students are on the rolls as classes begin, although numbers aren’t considered official until Oct. 1.

After 130 students graduated in May, an incoming Kindergarten class of 90 was projected. However, 110 kindergarteners enrolled, and other new families in town added to the unexpected jump, Pearson said. Numbers may grow higher due to a Home School Assistance program that brings tuition from neighboring school districts unable to serve the needs of homeschooling families, Pearson said.

The board approved the hiring of Barry Smith as KCSD technology director in a 3-2 vote. While Smith had been vetted by a nine-person interview team, board members Vickie Reed and Dawn Rankin raised concerns about his qualifications. He replaces Dave Smith, who recently resigned.

The board also approved a request to pass the hat at the KHS home football game Friday to raise money for the American Red Cross response to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Three new school staff members were introduced: They include Tracy Lee, a counselor at Northstar Elementary; Mikayla Splavec, a high school Spanish teacher; and Kayla Price, a middle school language arts teacher. Ann Kingery, a middle school special education teacher, was unable to attend.