Hartman announces school board campaign


Heather Hartman has announced that she will run for a seat on the Oak Ridge School Board in November.

In a statement announcing her candidacy, she says she has 21 years of education experience and a genuine passion for the town of Oak Ridge, its schools and its children.

Hartman worked at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for eight years and is an associate vice provost and liaison for accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for institutional accreditation. At UT, she leads the Assessment Steering Committee, Academic Assessment Council, and serves on the Disability Commission and the UT System IDE Steering Committee.

Hartman earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama and UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham), with minors in Business and Educational Technology. Her thesis examining K-12 teacher tenure laws was nominated for a national award. While in graduate school, she was voted outstanding graduate student by the faculty and was inducted into the honorary college fraternities Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi. Hartman also earned an Education Specialist Diploma in Educational Leadership from UAB and a master’s degree in management from the University of Troy.

A native of Auburn, Alabama, Hartman earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University, where his father served as a business professor for 25 years.

“Growing up in Auburn was a lot like growing up in Oak Ridge…small town life. Oak Ridge feels like home, which is one of the reasons empty nests will remain in the community. they love,” she said in the statement.

Prior to coming to Oak Ridge, Hartman worked for SACSCOC in Decatur, Georgia, as a substantial change coordinator and accreditation liaison for Brenau University in Gainesville. Hartman was hired at Brenau in 2000, to develop the institution’s online education programs, and when the university’s provost retired, he was chosen to lead a successful reaffirmation process.

Hartman isn’t just a “VOLUNTEER” at UT; she volunteers in the community. While in Georgia, she served as a Cub Scout leader for several years. At Oak Ridge, she served as PTO President at Jefferson Middle School and later served on the Superintendent’s PTA-PTO Board. She was president of the JMS Football Boosters and continues to support the football program at Oak Ridge High School. Hartman was president of the Quarterback Club and sold advertising, designed and produced the Wildcat football program for four years.

Hartman will run as an independent. She lives in Oak Ridge with her husband of 13 years, Oak Ridge native Cleon Hartman. The couple attend St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where she teaches Sunday school. Her son, Mitchell Gibbons, has had a wonderful experience attending Oak Ridge Schools from Grade 5 to graduating in 2021. Cleon, his mother, Pat Bonney Hartman, and children April (Wolford), Tanner and Reid Hartman are all Wildcat alumni.

According to the release, Hartman’s experience as an involved parent at Oak Ridge Schools, his degrees in K-12 education, as well as his professional experience in online learning and institutional accreditation, have given him the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to serve on the Oak Ridge School Board. She has demonstrated an enduring commitment to Oak Ridge Schools and is committed to working with fellow board members and the superintendent to maintain the excellence of Oak Ridge Schools. She looks forward to campaigning and hearing the concerns of all Oak Ridge parents, teachers and administrators.


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