Dr. Jack Parton, classes of 1978, 1979 and 1982, began teaching at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School after earning his bachelor of science degree from ETSU in 1979. After returning to the university and earning his master of arts in teaching in 1982, he was assistant principal and coach at Gatlinburg-Pittman from 1985-88. At that time, he defeated the incumbent superintendent to win the Republican nomination for superintendent and has held that position ever since. He also served on the City Council of Gatlinburg, and was the city's mayor from 1985-88. He went on to the University of Tennessee, where he earned his specialist in education degree in 1991, and to California Coast University, where he received his doctor of education degree in 2000.
In 2006-07, Parton was instrumental in the development of the ETSU Sevier County Health Science Partnership and ETSU facility in Sevierville. He also fostered a partnership between ETSU and the Sevier County School System, which led to the implementation of several off-campus degree programs in Sevier County. Similarly, he established articulation agreements with Tusculum College, Lincoln Memorial University and the University of Tennessee – all of which resulted in off-campus graduate programs within the Sevier County School District – and developed numerous points of collaboration with Walters State Community College.
In addition to membership in numerous professional associations, Parton is a former member of the ETSU Alumni Association board, the Boys and Girls Club of Sevier County, the Dollywood Foundation and other organizations.