A highly successful international consultant, Robert W. “Bobby” Simpson is coming back home to Knoxville Christian School.
Living around the world — from the Netherlands to Japan to South America — helping companies restructure their operations, helping employees understand customers and restructure careers or assisting U.S. companies looking to expand into international markets, Simpson has returned to KCS as president.
He served as the school’s principal “for a year in the early 2000s,” Simpson said. “Currently I’m also serving as interim principal.”
About applying for the presidency, “After multiple discussions … and after talking with my wife (Connie) and prayer and a lot of advisors, from business people and church people,” he said the final decision was, “just go ahead and give it to God and let’s try it.”
In addition to Simpson’s business and church leadership backgrounds — he’s an elder at Hardin Valley Church of Christ — “I had a little bit of an education background, and somehow we got paired up,” he said.
Hired in April — following a unanimous vote by KCS Board of Directors — and starting May 1, Simpson said KCS “is looking to do some bigger things … to showcase the entire program, from athletics to academics to the arts. How do you go and actually package that and share it with the community?”
Minister Jeremy Weekley of West End Church of Christ, a KCS Board member, was chairman of the board’s presidential search committee.
“He’s an all-around catch for us,” Weekley said. “He’s a very visionary person.
“In some of the private sector work that he has done, he has helped multi-million dollar corporations get back on track and figure out how things need to run,” he added. “And he’s a spiritual leader, too — that was one of the most important things, as we talked to people on campus and what they wanted and what they felt like we needed.”
Being a church elder, “he is a very strong spiritual leader, which is important for a Christian education,” said Gunilda Jacobs, a KCS Board member. “Secondly, he does have a strong business background and he’s able to work very successfully with lots of different people. People from different backgrounds, different cultures. We have international students at our school, so that was a plus for us.
“He also has a passion for Christian education,” Jacobs added. “… His (four) sons all went to a Christian university, Freed-Hardeman in Henderson, so he understands the value of Christian education.
“And he also understands some of the challenges, being financial and marketing and that kind of thing.”
Simpson joins a KCS faculty and staff of roughly 35, with an estimated enrollment for 2018-19 at just under 200.
“Another thing for me was he’s a people person,” Jacobs said. “I can see him being a mentor to our staff, not only in their educational walk but in their spiritual walk.”
Simpson earned a secondary education bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.