Rutherford County Schools Director Names Two Assistant Superintendents

Jun 16, 2022 at 05:27 pm by WGNS

Dr. Kelly Chastain will be the next assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Brian Runion will be the next assistant superintendent for Budget and Finance, incoming Director of Schools Dr. James Sullivan announced Thursday. There are four assistant superintendent positions — each overseeing a different area of operations — who report to the Director of Schools. 

Dr. Kelly Chastain, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: For the instruction position, Dr. Chastain succeeds Director Sullivan, who served in the assistant superintendent role until he was named Director of Schools. A panel of 12 fellow educators held interviews earlier this week and unanimously recommended Dr. Chastain for the position. 


“Dr. Chastain brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and ideas to the position,” Director Sullivan said. “We look forward to seeing how the department expands its influence to meet the needs of our students, teachers and community under her leadership.”

Chastain will work with Dr. Sullivan, instruction coordinators, principals and teachers to set goals and carry out academic initiatives at all schools to benefit student achievement.

“First and foremost, I want teachers to know that they are seen, heard and supported, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together,” Chastain said. “One of my goals is to ensure we continue building outstanding programs within our schools and ensure they are accessible to every student and family in Rutherford County.”

Most recently, Dr. Chastain served as the RCS School Choice / Charter School Coordinator, a position that was created earlier this year. She previously served for several years in a dual role, as both the secondary science and STEM specialist as the early postsecondary specialist for the school district.

Chastain has served as a program manager on the STEM reform project with Vanderbilt University’s Center for Science Outreach, and she served as the K-12 Coordinator of Science for the Tennessee Department of Education. 

She also was an educator at Oakland High School for more than 11 years, working as the program coordinator of the school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and as a biology teacher. 

Chastain has two degrees from Middle Tennessee State University — where she also was a member of the Lady Raiders basketball team — and has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University. 

Brian Runion, Assistant Superintendent for Budget and Finance: Brian Runion will work with Director Sullivan and the School Board to oversee the district’s general purpose school fund, capital projects fund and centralized cafeteria fund, which combined, equates to nearly $530 million for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. 

“Brian has the knowledge, skillset, communication skills and leadership beliefs to effectively lead our Budget and Finance Department while also increasing transparency and relationships with our stakeholders,” Director Sullivan said. 

Runion has served as the accounting manager for the Budget and Finance Department for the past year and a half. He succeeds Doug Bodary, who is departing the school district for a position with state government. 

“My goal is to provide accountability and transparency of the financial operations of Rutherford County Schools to the director, the School Board, the County Commission and other stakeholders of Rutherford County,” Runion said. “Ultimately, our responsibility is to the taxpayers and citizens of Rutherford County.”

Prior to joining Rutherford County Schools, Runion served as the finance director for Marshall County Schools. He also worked as a finance consultant for the Tennessee Department of Education for nearly eight years, and he served as finance manager with the United States Navy for four years. 

He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Middle Tennessee State University and his Master of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University College of Business. 

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