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 the Board in 2019 for his first four-year term and elected president in July 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. He is now an affiliate with the Elizabeth R. Griffin Program of the Center of Global Health Science and Security of Georgetown University and works independently as a consultant and speaker.
Mr. Welch is a native of Kingsport and educated at East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee. After graduation, Mr. Welch taught and coached at Kingsport City Schools from 1976-2006.
Jim is a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council and of Germfree. A member of the steering group of the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium and has served as a non-government spokesperson on the Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group. He is a member of the Joint External Evaluation International Alliance (JEE), and OIE’s Consultation Group on Sustainable Biosafety and Biosecurity. He has served on the advisory board of the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program at the National Institute of Health, and the board of directors of the International Federation of Biosafety Association. He served as a named member of the Law Enforcement and Veterinary International Conference at INTERPOL, as an external advisor for the Duke University Infectious Disease Response Training Program, and as a member of the Global Health Security Roundtable.
He was the 2011 recipient of the John H. Richardson Humanitarian Award of ABSA International and is an honorary member of the Association of Primate Veterinarians, as well as the International Veterinary Biosafety Working Group. He currently serves as an elected member of the Council of ABSA International, the major professional association for biosafety and biosecurity and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council.
He has been a key speaker, instructor, moderator, and panelist at professional and governmental conferences, seminars, universities, and for private companies around the world.
Jim and his wife, Victoria have two grown children, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools. They also have five grandchildren that they adore.
Julie Byers was elected to the Board in 2019 for her first four-year term and elected vice-president in July 2020. Term expires on June 30, 2023.
As a recent retiree from Eastman, Julie has called Kingsport home for nearly 20 years. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the small rural community of Greenville, Ohio, Julie graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelors degree in Chemistry and a minor in English.
After graduating from Ohio State, Julie worked as a chemist at an environmental company outside Detroit, MI. 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.
Julie continues to volunteer in school systems 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.
Julie and her husband, Philip, have three children, two graduates of Dobyns-Bennett High School and one enrolled at Dobyns-Bennett.
Todd Golden was appointed to the BOE 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, TN. 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 BOE 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, GA, 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 currently develops software for their iPhone and iPad apps. 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 have two daughters, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools and are now in college.
Carrie Upshaw was first elected to the BOE in 2009 and is currently serving in her third four-year term on the Board. She was elected to her first term as Board president in 2013 and re-elected again in 2017. Term expires on June 30, 2021.
Mrs. Upshaw was recently appointed to the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) All Tennessee School Board. She is a Level IV board member and actively participates in conferences and advocacy at both the state and national level.
Mrs. Upshaw has lived in the Tri-Cities area most of her life, graduating from Sullivan East High School and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
She worked as a contract engineer until 1990. Following the birth of her children, she became active as a community volunteer and held many PTA and PTSA offices, including President at Washington Elementary School and John Sevier Middle School.
Mrs. Upshaw is the Senior Adult Director at First Baptist Church in Kingsport where she is also the pianist.
Mrs. Upshaw and her husband, Mike, have two grown children, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools from kindergarten through graduation. Mrs. Upshaw remains an active volunteer in several programs.