Dale Lynch, the Hamblen County superintendent who was a finalist this spring to lead Knox County Schools, is retiring to take a job leading his profession in the state.

Lynch, 52, told the Hamblen County school board on Tuesday. His last day will be June 30, and on July 1 he'll become executive director of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents.

He told 10News he's enjoyed his 16 years as superintendent in Hamblen County.

"A lot of tears were shed tonight, mostly by me," Lynch said.

The organization consists of the leaders of about 140 school systems in the state.

The Knox County Board of Education picked Lynch and Bob Thomas as finalists to replace Jim McIntyre and lead the 58,000-student system. The board picked Thomas, a veteran Knox County system administrator.
Lynch, who received master's and doctorate degrees in education from East Tennessee State University, said his job will require him to spend a lot of time in Nashville but that he'll keep a residence in Morristown.  The position opened up after the Knox County job became available, he said.

Lynch said he looks forward to working with Thomas along with the other superintendents in Tennessee.