School Reopening Task Force

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson recently announced the formation of a School Reopening Task Force to begin plans for children to return to school. Keith Fogleman, chief talent officer for Hamilton County Schools, and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William T. Brooks, director, JROTC for Hamilton County Schools, will lead the work to plan for the children's return to school in the fall. Fogleman and Lt. Col. Brooks will work with staff, parents, students, business leaders, health professionals, and the community to formulate the plan for schools reopening and children once again learning in the classrooms. The announcement came at a news conference held today, Tuesday, May 12, at 12:30 p.m. in the board room at the central office of Hamilton County Schools.

Hamilton County Schools is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff as we seek to immerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and return to classrooms. This unprecedented time for our world has created many significant hurdles for our community. Just as businesses and organizations looking for the best way to resume operation, the school district will examine all processes and procedures as we seek to bring students back to school campuses in the fall. The district recognizes that our school reopening plans have a significant effect on our community. As the task force moves forward with their work, the district will provide regular updates to ensure staff, families, and the community are prepared for what the next school year may look like at our local schools.

There will be four main areas of focus as plans are developed for the reopening of schools. The Task Force will seek to minimize risks to public health, address impacts on student learning and well-being, recognize the importance of the local public school to the community, and they will seek to optimize operational readiness.

Keith Fogleman is the Chief Talent Officer for Hamilton County Schools. He leads the Human Resources and Benefits team that is committed to supporting student achievement by recruiting, retaining, and developing high-quality leaders, teachers, and support staff for our Hamilton County Schools. He has almost forty years of experience in human resources and labor relations, predominantly in the electric utility industry. As an experienced human resource leader and strategic business partner, Fogleman has been responsible for the development and implementation of strategic human resource programs in the functional areas of labor relations, compensation and benefits, workforce planning, talent management, leadership development, and succession planning.

Before Hamilton County Schools, Fogleman last served as an executive human resources consultant provided HR services to major electric utilities in the United States and Japan. His projects included providing programmatic direction to support recovery plans from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, implementing a knowledge transfer and retention strategy for a nuclear utility, developing HR strategies for Nuclear Plant decommissioning projects, and designing a demobilization strategy for a nuclear construction project.

Fogleman was the vice president of Human Resources for Entergy until 2013, where he was responsible for providing strategic human resource and labor relations solutions for a multi-state Fortune 500 company with ten business units and 14,500 employees. Before joining Entergy in 2008, Fogleman held director-level positions in human resources and labor relations at TVA.

Fogleman is a former chairman and an executive committee member of the Nuclear Human Resource Group and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management. He has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (Construction and Civil Engineering Technology) from East Tennessee State University and completed the Chief Human Resource Officer Academy conducted by the National Academy of Human Resources.

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William T. Brooks is from Chattanooga and has held a variety of command and staff positions in his career. He served as the senior Army instructor at Chattanooga Central High School, a professor of Military Science at Grambling State University with a partnership at Louisiana Tech University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe for Army ROTC. He served as a staff leader for the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Command Group executive officer, Battalion executive officer, and group logistics chief at Fort Polk, Lousiana. Lieutenant Colonel Brooks also served in the Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC, where he held positions with 3d Special Forces Group, Special Operations Support Command, and 4th Psychological Operations Group. He commanded Company D, 3d Brigade, 61st Infantry, and later commanded the Headquarters Company for 4th Training Brigade at Fort Jackson, SC. Other assignments include duty in Kuwait, Bosnia, Hawaii, Virginia, and Indiana.

A graduate of Chattanooga (City) High School in 1979, Lieutenant Colonel Brooks attended Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree. He received his Masters of Public Administration degree from Central Michigan University. Lieutenant Colonel Brooks received his commissioning from the Army ROTC program at Middle Tennessee State University. After graduation from Middle Tennessee State, he entered active duty as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army, Adjutant General Corps. His military schooling includes the Command and General Staff Officers' Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Quartermaster Basic and Advanced Course, and the Adjutant General Basic Course. He is a graduate of the Faculty Development Course and the Army's Master Fitness Trainer Course. He is also a graduate of the Army Airborne and Air Assault School.

Lieutenant Colonel Brooks' military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, the Global War on Terrorist Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, two Army Superior Unit Awards, French Airborne Wings, U.S. Army Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault badge. Lieutenant Colonel Brooks is also the 2015 recipient of the Margaret Hammack award for excellence in teaching.

"Lieutenant Colonel William Brooks and Keith Fogleman are uniquely qualified to lead the effort to plan a safe return of children, teachers, and staff to our schools," said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. "The Task Force will take what we have learned as our teachers and students have responded remarkably during this COVID-19 pandemic and reimagine every aspect of what we do to be an even better school district when we are able to provide a safe return to classrooms across Hamilton County. The fall will bring unique challenges and we will work closely with public health officials at the local, state and national level and defer to their expertise in the reopening process."