Published: Thu Nov 30, 2006Gary L. Nixon, executive director of the Tennessee State Board of Education and former Cumberland County High School principal, will address more than 600 December graduates at Tennessee Tech University's commencement at 10 a.m. on Dec. 16 in Hooper Eblen Center.
Nixon began his educational experience as a chemistry/physics teacher at Cumberland County High School in 1971. He later served as principal of Cumberland County High School for 16 years. He moved to Nashville in 1994 and worked for the Tennessee State Board of Education for six years.
In 2000, Nixon became the principal of Blackman High School for Rutherford County Schools. He opened the new Blackman High School in August 2000 and served as its principal until assuming the position of Executive Director of the State Board of Education.
Nixon received his bachelor’s degree in education from Tennessee Tech University as well as his master’s degree in education and educational specialist degree. He earned a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University.
Nixon is an avid supporter of the Southern Regional Education Board’s High Schools That Work initiative. Both Cumberland County High School and Blackman High School were High Schools That Work sites under his leadership. Blackman High School was recognized as one of the top high schools in the national network for student achievement, guidance services and providing extra help and time.
About 610 students are expected to graduate from Tennessee Tech this fall. They hail from 43 states including Tennessee, 68 Tennessee counties and 81 foreign countries. They represent 38 undergraduate fields of study and 17 graduate fields. Following fall commencement, Tennessee Tech will have granted more than 58,000 degrees.