Outgoing Sullivan County director of schools reflects on career

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – For the first time, we’re hearing from the Sullivan County Director of Schools on her recently announced retirement.

The person who runs the Sullivan County School System has a really important job, overseeing the education of more than 9,000 students, a multi-million dollar budget, and a system in the midst of a massive consolidation plan.

For the outgoing director, she knew now was the time to move on.

“After 42 years, it’s time for me,” Sullivan County Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski said telling us she’s enjoyed a rewarding career in education.

“This is an amazing community, a wonderful place to live. There’s tremendous support for our schools,” Rafalowski said.

She’s ready to spend more time with her family, including 2 young grandchildren.

“Director of schools job is extremely demanding and extremely time-consuming,” Rafalowski said.

The school board is looking for input from the teachers and administrators on what they want to see in their next leader.

They’ve hired a consultant to help in the search for Rafalowski’s replacement.

Whoever the next director is, Rafalowski hopes they have similar goals.

“My goal has been to leave our school district better then when I found it and I hope that’ll be the goal of the next director,” Rafalowski said.

It’s a career she’s proud of.

“It’s a career that’s become full circle and one that I have many memories that I will cherish forever,” Rafalowski said.

Rafalowski’s last day as director is June 30. She says a new director should be announced by May.

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