The Kingsport Board of Education is made up of five elected at-large, non-partisan members. Each member serves a four-year staggered term. Elections are held in May during odd-numbered years. New Board of Education members are seated on July 1 of each election year.
Regular monthly board meetings are held on the second Tuesday at 6 p.m. and work sessions are held on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. All meetings are located in the Tennessee Room at the KCS Administrative Support Center, 400 Clinchfield Street, third floor, downtown Kingsport. The regular monthly meetings include a public comment period on agenda items.
To address the board concerning an issue not included on the board's regular monthly agenda, you must submit a written request to the Superintendent of Schools at least three business days prior to the scheduled board meeting. At the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education President, your concern will be placed on the agenda or addressed privately at an appointed time. BOE Meetings and Work Sessions are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
Jim Welch was elected to his first four-year term on the Board in 2019 and was elected president of the Board in 2020. Term expires on June 30, 2023.
In 2018, Mr. Welch retired as the executive director of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation; a U.S. based non-profit organization that focuses on biosafety and biosecurity in fostering global health security. Under his leadership, the Foundation was transitioned to become the Elizabeth R. Griffin Program of the Center of Global Health Science and Security of Georgetown University. He serves part-time as an affiliate to the program as well as working independently as a consultant and speaker.
Mr. Welch is a native of Kingsport and earned his degrees from East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee. After graduation, Mr. Welch taught and coached at Kingsport City Schools from 1976-2006 and named to the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame in 2020.
Mr. Welch is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council and Germfree. He is a member of the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC), an international organization comprised of non-government entities active in global health security. In his role as the originating chair of GHSAC, he worked closely with the U.S. government in global initiatives involving preparing for and responding to infectious diseases and served as the non-government member of the Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group. His other international work includes serving as a member of the Joint External Evaluation Alliance (JEE), a member of the boards of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations and the International Center for Infectious Diseases, a member of OIE’s Consolation Group on Biosafety and Biosecurity and the Law Enforcement and Veterinary International Conference of NTERPOL.
Domestically, Mr. Welch has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program at the National Institutes of Health, as a member of the Global Health Security Agenda Roundtable, as an elected member of the Council of the American Biological Safety Association and as an external advisor to the Duke University Infectious Disease Response Training Program. He most recently served as an invited panelist on a global webcast, “COVID-19, What’s Next” hosted by the Skowcroft Institute of International Affairs at The Bus School of Government and Public Affairs of Texas A&M University.
ABSA International presented Mr. Welch with the John Richardson Humanitarian Award in 2011. He is named honorary member of the Association of Primate Veterinarians, the International Biosafety Working Group, Asia-Pacific Biosafety Association, European Biosafety Association, African Biosafety Association, and the national biosafety associations of Mexico and Argentina. He has been a key speaker, panelist, moderator, and instructor at multiple professional and governmental conferences as well as private companies and university programs around the world.
Mr. Welch and his wife, Victoria, have two grown children, who both attended Kingsport City Schools from kindergarten through graduation. They also have five grandchildren whom they adore.
Julie Byers was elected to the Board in 2019 for her first four-year term. Term expires on June 30, 2023.
As a recent retiree from Eastman, Mrs. Byers has called Kingsport home for nearly 20 years. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the small rural community of Greenville, Ohio, Mrs. Byers graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelors degree in Chemistry and a minor in English.
After graduating from Ohio State, Mrs. Byers worked as a chemist at an environmental company outside Detroit. While working, she also pursued a Master’s/PhD degree at Oakland University until Eastman offered her a sales job. After being hired, Mrs. Byers spent seven of the next ten years in Chicago in various sales and business roles before permanently relocating to Kingsport. In Kingsport, she held various roles in procurement, supply chain, Six Sigma, and logistics.
Mrs. Byers continues to volunteer in school districts in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia providing science demos, STEM nights, and leadership discussions. She is active in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and is a board member for First Book. Julie, a 2008 graduate of Leadership Kingsport, has coached flag football and recreational basketball for Kingsport Parks and Recreation as well as Upward. She was campaign Chair for the United Way and is very passionate about the United Way agencies, where you will often find her lending a helping hand.
Mrs. Byers and her husband, Philip, have three teenage children, two currently in Kingsport City Schools and one graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School.
Tim Dean was appointed to the BOE in 2021 to complete a one-year term of service due to a Board member's death.
A Kingsport native, Mr. Dean has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Business Administration from King University. Mr. Dean started his career as a high school English/Economics teacher and Basketball/Baseball coach at Volunteer and Sullivan North High Schools.
In the '90s, he switched careers and started working for GlaxoSmithKine Pharmaceuticals until his retirement from the company in 2016. At his time of retirement, he was the National Health System Manager. Mr. Dean has served as a board member for multiple community organizations including Kingsport City Schools Board of Education from 2001 to 2005.
Mr. Dean and his wife, Lisa, have two sons educated at Kingsport City Schools.
Todd Golden was appointed to the Board in 2014 to complete a one-year term of service due to a Board member resignation. He was elected to the Board in 2015 and re-elected again in 2019. Term expires on June 30, 2023.
Mr. Golden has called Kingsport home for over 23 years. A native of Albany, Georgia, he attended Brigham Young University - Idaho, studying business and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Sales from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
After completing college, Mr. Golden worked for Hewlett-Packard in the Bay Area of California as a territory sales manager and was promoted to be the corporate trainer for the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico. It was during this time that he elected to move to Kingsport.. He has been an integral part in establishing and executing the annual Day of Service in Kingsport, taught business development and Spanish classes at the Kingsport Renaissance Center, and served as a volunteer in various community roles. Mr. Golden is a member of Healthy Kingsport, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, served as a full-time Christian missionary in Colombia for two years, and speaks fluent Spanish.
Mr. Golden and his wife, Melissa, have five children attending Kingsport City Schools.
Eric Hyche was appointed to the Board in 2014 to complete a one-year term of service due to a Board member resignation. He was elected to the Board in 2015 for his first two-year term ending in 2017. Eric was elected Board President in July 2016 and re-elected again in 2017. Term expires on June 30, 2021.
Mr. Hyche is a native of Kingsport, graduating as the valedictorian of Sullivan Central High School in 1983. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University, where he was the 1987 Derryberry Award winner.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hyche married Angie Duncan, another Kingsport native, and relocated to Atlanta, where he obtained a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and worked for NCR and Iterated Systems. In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Hyche moved back to Kingsport and he began working remotely for Seattle-based RealNetworks. In April 2013, he joined the technical staff at Groupon, where he developed software for their iPhone and iPad apps. Currently, Mr. Hyche is a Senior iOS Engineer for Noom, a psychology-based weight loss app.
Mr. Hyche is also a past president of the Preston Forest Community Association. He enjoys writing software for personal projects, reading, bicycling, and history.
Mr. Hyche and his wife, Angie, have two grown daughters, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools and have now graduated from college.