Rutherford County Schools Superintendent James Sullivan has appointed two new assistant superintendents.
Kelly Chastain has been named Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and Brian Runion will be the next Assistant Superintendent of Budget and Finance.
There are four Assistant Superintendent positions – each overseeing a different area of operations – reporting to the Principal of Schools.
Kelly Chastain: Curriculum and Teaching
Chastain takes over the role previously held by Sullivan, who was named principal of schools in May. Most recently, Chastain served as RCS School Choice/Charter School Coordinator, a position that was created earlier this year.
A panel of 12 fellow educators held interviews earlier this week and unanimously recommended Chastain for the job.
More recently, Chastain served for several years in a dual role, both as a secondary science specialist and in STEM as an early post-secondary education specialist for the school district.
“Dr. Chastain brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and ideas to this position,” Sullivan said. “We look forward to seeing how the department expands its influence to meet the needs of our students, teachers, and of the community under his leadership.
Chastain will work with Sullivan, instructional coordinators, principals, and teachers to set goals and carry out academic initiatives across all schools to support student success.
“First and foremost, I want teachers to know they are seen, heard and supported, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together,” Chastain said. “One of my goals is to ensure that we continue to create exceptional programs in our schools and that they are accessible to all students and families in Rutherford County.”
Chastain served as Program Manager on the STEM Reform Project with the Center for Science Outreach at Vanderbilt University, and she served as K-12 Science Coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Education.
She was also an educator at Oakland High School for more than 11 years, working as the school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma program coordinator and as a biology teacher.
Chastain has two degrees from Middle Tennessee State University — where she was also a member of the Lady Raiders basketball team — and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University.
Brian Runion: Budget and Finance
Runion will oversee the district’s General Purpose School Fund, Capital Projects Fund and Centralized Cafeteria Fund, which combined equal nearly $530 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
“Brian has the knowledge, skills, communication skills and leadership beliefs to effectively lead our budget and finance department while increasing transparency and relationships with our stakeholders,” Sullivan said.
Runion has held the position of Accounting Officer for the Department of Budget and Finance for the past 18 months. He succeeds Doug Bodary, who is leaving the school district for a position in state government.
“My goal is to provide accountability and transparency in the financial operations of Rutherford County schools to the principal, school board, county commission and other Rutherford County stakeholders,” Runion said. “Ultimately, our responsibility rests with the taxpayers and citizens of Rutherford County.”
Prior to joining Rutherford County Schools, Runion served as Chief Financial Officer for Marshall County Schools. He also worked as a financial consultant for the Tennessee Department of Education for nearly eight years and served as the United States Navy’s Chief Financial Officer for four years.
He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University and his Masters of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University College of Business.