Joey Hassell assumed the role of Assistant Commissioner for Special Populations for the Tennessee Department of Education on January 2, 2013. Within the division of Special Populations, Hassell and his leadership team oversee services for children from birth to twenty-two in special education programs as well as services for the state’s English language learners, and delinquent and neglected youth. Hassell’s team also provides oversight for the Tennessee School for the Blind, the Tennessee School for the Deaf and the West Tennessee School for the Deaf. The division of special populations also houses Tennessee’s Head Start State Collaborative Office, Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-k programs, and School-based support services.
Hassell, a native West Tennessean, has been a special education teacher, middle school assistant principal, high school principal, and superintendent, and he has served students in these roles in Lake and Lauderdale Counties.
In 2012, he was named Superintendent of the Year for the Southwest Region of Tennessee. Hassell was chair of the state of Tennessee’s Superintendent’s Study Council from 2010-2012, and he is a former member of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendent’s Board of Directors. He is a 2000 graduate of Leadership Lauderdale and a 2010 graduate of WestStar.
Hassell and his wife, Kathryn, reside in Ripley, TN, and they have four children and one grandchild.