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Rise & Shine: Who will be Tennessee’s next education chief?

Good morning and welcome to Monday — and to a short school week!

The changing of the guard that’s coming to the Tennessee governor’s office will now definitely come also to the department overseeing state education policy. Candice McQueen took herself out of the running to continue as education commissioner with last week’s announcement that she’ll shift in January to a new job as CEO of a national nonprofit group. As Gov.-elect Bill Lee and his transition team assemble his 23-member cabinet, Tennessee education leaders are offering some advice on choosing a new ed leader, arguably his most important pick.

Happy reading!

—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


THE RIGHT STUFF  Here’s what Tennessee leaders want in Gov.-elect Bill Lee’s pick for education commissioner. Chalkbeat

COLD CLASSROOMS  Memphians at a town hall meeting demand answers to why some Shelby County schools aren’t getting upgrades to address aging buildings and outdated heating systems. WMC

“It is cold, Dorsey!” says a Memphis student in her video message to Superintendent Dorsey Hopson about her high school’s malfunctioning heater. The Commercial Appeal

E-CIGARETTES  Knoxville students say flavored e-cigarettes, which the FDA is partially banning, are frequently and heavily used in both high school and college. Knoxville News Sentinel

START TIMES  Collierville middle and high school students will get to sleep in a bit if the district follows a study committee’s recommendations on new start times. The Commercial Appeal

ONLINE COURSES  A foundation’s program to expand high school course offerings in rural Northeast Tennessee reaches students in other parts of the state too. Morristown Citizen Tribune

LAWSUIT  A Wayne County High School student sues Rep. David Byrd in federal court, alleging he was forced to wear a T-shirt supporting the state lawmaker in order to attend a field trip to the state Capitol. The Tennessean

OPINION: MENTAL HEALTH  Tennessee needs more trained psychologists working in schools, says the president of the Tennessee Association of School Psychologists. The Greeneville Sun

HOW I TEACH  Why this award-winning music teacher in Texas says she couldn’t operate without her “slow it down machine” Chalkbeat

LISTENING TOUR  Our entire news organization went on listening tours this summer and fall. Here’s what Chalkbeat heard when we listened to our communities in a different way. Chalkbeat