Carter County Schools prepare for new year with several new principals

As Carter County Schools prepare for the new school year, four new principals and several new assistant principals prepare to join the team of educators and administrators, all working towards the same goals as before: quality education.

Superintendent of County Schools Kevin Ward said the various principals are in the process of completing their school improvement plans for the year.

“I have already been out to visit two of the four new principals,” Ward said. “I came away very pleased with their background knowledge.”

Of the four, including Doug Mitchell with Happy Valley High School and Richard Church with Cloudland High School, three of them have prior administrative experience, which he said is making the process of integrating them much easier.

He said he wants to make it clear to these new leaders they are not alone.

“The support for the principals is the key,” Ward said. “They are not on an island.”

Beyond the new leadership, Ward said the school board is still pursuing its three main goals: increasing academic achievement in all areas, a focus on abetting chronic absenteeism, and increasing the number of ready graduates among high school seniors.

With the seniors, Ward said he has been working on many out-of-school opportunities, including working with companies like a manufacturing plant he visited in Chattanooga to create cooperative programs.

“It was very enlightening seeing students, to have a conversation with them,” he said. “They talked about having to be on time and work ethics.”

Ward said he wants to develop a program with companies that help teach these values before or shortly after they graduate. Many of these programs elsewhere even have job potentials for students who complete them.

“You could see the maturity level of the kids on their first day versus their 60th,” he said.

As the board prepares to move into the new school year, Ward said their number one focus is school safety.

“Without safety, we would have a difficult time,” Ward said.

He said they are focused on a curriculum that helps students develop the skills they need to participate in the adult world, whether they go to college or right to a job.

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