An advocate for Knox’s exceptional and youngest students retires; Charlotte McCoy was Director of Special Populations

Charlotte and her son Tyler hold up a retirement gift during a luncheon at the Annex.

Charlotte McCoy poses for a photo at luncheon held in her honor.There have been tales shared and tears shed in the past week in the Knox County Public Schools as the Director of Special Populations retires.

Charlotte McCoy’s career in KCPS started in August 1999 as the preschool and 504 coordinator at the time.  When the Board approved a policy for student drug testing, the duties of testing coordinator were added to her title and provided another hat for her to wear.  Fast forward through time and when then Willa Dean Shields, special education director retired, McCoy assumed those additional duties and yet another hat.  When Federal Programs Director Pam Williams retired, the theme continued with additional duties and another hat to wear.

Of all the duties and responsibilities that McCoy gained throughout her tenure in Knox County, her passion was for our youngest students and those needing special attention.  Providing accommodations and meeting with the family and school team, she worked hard to expand services and provide an exceptional educational experience for kids.  It was those students, and students just beginning their educational journey, that McCoy connected to best.

“Expanding the preschool program from four classrooms to ten with all sites having a five-star rating,” was one of the biggest achievements that McCoy shared about her time as program director.  “Reaching the five-star rating was one way of guaranteeing and showing families that we are better serving the children of Knox County.”

McCoy also volunteered to add more hats and duties that resulted in great memories.  “I loved my voluntary activities such as coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team that went to world competition, coaching Future Problem Solving Teams that won region and advanced to state, and working with the school academic teams.”  One of McCoy’s last volunteer experiences was assisting the track program at Lynn Camp that continues to build and grow.

McCoy has seen many changes in the school district since hired in 1999.  One of the biggest achievements districtwide that McCoy is most proud of is the success of students and teachers.  “KCPS had schools that became proficient, then distinguished, and finally, the district became a distinguished district,” said McCoy stating that it helped boost culture and set high expectations.

At the various retirement gatherings held in her honor, there were many great memories shared.  For McCoy, it was simply “working with all the wonderful people and students in Knox County.”

Colleagues and friends pose for a picture with Charlotte McCoy.

“We have the best staff in the Knox County Public Schools and serve the absolute best students in the world.  I am very grateful for the opportunity that KCPS has afforded me.  The people of Knox County have been very supportive of me and my family.  Numerous times I have been humbled by the kindness of people in our county.”

What is her wish for the school district in the years to come?  “Closer unity and equity among our schools,” McCoy said.  “I hope the district continues to improve upon the education that we offer students including dual credit coursework to assist students preparing for college.  I hope we continue to improve facilities at all schools, particularly the two high schools.  Improved facilities yield more opportunities and a better learning environment.  Finally, having volunteered with the track team and seeing the potential there, I hope that Lynn Camp is able to get a rubberized track.”

Although her retirement date is here, and she steps away from the school district and begins a new chapter, KCPS will continue to be a part of her life.  “Even though I will be retired, I will continue to support the Knox County Public Schools in any manner possible.”

Best wishes Charlotte on your retirement from your school district family.


Photos from her special education/preschool luncheon and district luncheon are in the gallery.