New Collierville Schools Superin-

tendent Dr. Gary Lilly addresses members of the School Board last Thursday at Collierville High School. 


Collierville Schools announ-

ced last week the unanimous selection of Dr. Gary Lilly as the district’s new superintendent. 

Lilly has served as Director of Schools for Bristol, Tenn. since 2009. Before that, Lilly was both the district’s Director of Attendance and Transportation and Director of Technology.

He replaces Superintendent John Aitken, who is retiring after serving 39 years in Shelby County education and as the first superintendent of Collierville Schools. Aitken said that he believes Lilly will do well in his new position due to his experience as a director, and personally getting to meet and work with him. He also believes that Lilly will “build positive relationships with his new fellow board members.”

One of those board members is Kevin Vaughn. 

“I know that he is a seasoned professional that has served in all types of different capacities in public education,” he said. “His affable personality will serve him well. He’s real easy to be around.”

Tammy Mason, superin-

tendent of Arlington Community Schools, referenced Lilly’s exper-

ience after getting to know him through the Association of Independent and Municipal Schools.

She agreed that he will be “successful” in his new position.

Lilly will face the unique chall-

enge of handling a high school building in just its second year.

When asked about these challenges, Vaughn said that he has “full confidence and faith” in both first-year Collierville High School Principal Roger Jones III and Lilly. 

Jones was named the princ-

ipal of Collierville’s top school last month. 

“We don’t see any reason why, given both of those two men’s experience level and competencies, that they won’t be able to form a great team for 

leading that institution,” Vaughn Said.

Superintendent Mason also mentioned the difference in west Tennessee versus east Tennessee, where Lilly serves, in the different challenges he will face. Bristol City Schools serves a total of 4,200 students, Collierville Schools serves 9,150.

In a press release, the Collierville Schools Board of Education said about Lilly, “The board was particularly impressed with his record of successful leadership of a school system with many similarities to Collierville Schools.”

They alluded to Bristol City Schools’ investment in technology and digital learning, along with the advancement of post-secondary opportunities to explain why they were impressed with Lilly’s similar goals to Collierville Schools.

Lilly will likely begin serving after Aitken will retire from Collierville Schools on June 30.