There will be 10 elementary school principals in new jobs when kids return to school on Aug. 5. And that’s just the 10 announced to date. Some of these appointments, such as Mitchell Cox leaving Halls Elementary for Cedar Bluff Elementary, will leave holes to be filled elsewhere.
And retirements have left openings at at least three high schools: Halls, Central and L&N STEM Academy. Here are the 10 announced to date:
Tiffany Watkins to Gap Creek. She is currently principal at Fair Garden Community Center. Holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from UT. Joined Knox County Schools in 1995 as a teacher at Ball Camp. Also taught at Hardin Valley and worked as assistant principal at A.L. Lotts and Adrian Burnett.
Brandon Pratt to New Hopewell. Currently principal at Northshore Elementary after serving as principal at Corryton, Sunnyview and Ball Camp. Holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from University of Mississippi. Worked as teacher in Mississippi. Joined KCS in 2005 as assistant principal at A.L. Lotts.
Shelly McGill to Amherst. Currently principal at Pond Gap. Holds bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education from UT, and an education specialist degree in educational administration from Lincoln Memorial University. McGill joined KCS in 2006 as a teacher at Brickey-McCloud. In 2011, she was named assistant principal at Carter Elementary and worked at Dogwood Elementary before becoming principal at Pond Gap in 2014.
Emily Jellicorse to Chilhowee Intermediate. Currently assistant principal at Gibbs Elementary. Joined KCS in 2008 as a teacher at Carter Elementary, after having taught in Jefferson County and in Arkansas. She also taught at Holston Middle where she was a TAP mentor and master teacher. She served as an instructional coach at Gresham Middle until 2017 when she began her career in administration as an assistant principal at Gresham. Jellicorse holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Carson-Newman, a master’s degree in English education from UT and an education specialist degree in administration from LMU.
Kristi Phillips to Ridgedale. She joined Knox County Schools in 2003 as a teacher at Northwest Middle School. Phillips also served as a TAP mentor teacher at Northwest Middle. She began her career in administration in 2010 when she was appointed assistant principal at Bearden Middle School. She has been an assistant principal at L&N STEM Academy and is currently an assistant principal at Ridgedale. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from Carson-Newman University.
Tara Howell-Spikes to Fair Garden Family Center. She joined Knox County Schools in 2000 as a teacher at Mount Olive Elementary School. She has served as an assistant principal at A.L. Lotts, Cedar Bluff Elementary, Sunnyview Primary and Chilhowee Intermediate. Howell-Spikes holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Carson-Newman, a master’s in elementary education from UT, an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from LMU and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from UT.
Mitchell Cox to Cedar Bluff Elementary. Cox joined Knox County Schools in 2017 as principal of Halls Elementary School, where he currently serves. He taught seven years at Sullivan North High School before becoming a teacher and administrative assistant at Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee in 2012. He began his career in administration the following year as an assistant principal at Sullivan Central High School and served as principal of Indian Springs Elementary School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from East Tennessee State University, a master’s in education from Walden University and an educational leadership license from Union College.
Keith Cottrell to Northshore. He currently is principal at Cedar Bluff Elementary. He joined KCS in 1998 as a teacher at Cedar Bluff Intermediate School. He also taught at A.L. Lotts, Blue Grass and Sterchi. He also served as an assistant principal at Cedar Bluff Elementary and Farragut Primary. Cottrell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UT, a master’s in teaching from Carson-Newman, an education specialist degree in administration from LMU and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from UT.
Trina Bruns to Pond Gap. She joined KCS in 2016 as assistant principal at Pond Gap, where she currently serves. She previously was a special education teacher, STEM interventionist and an elementary school assistant principal in Colorado Springs, Colo. Bruns holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Grand Canyon University.
Amelia Baker stays at Pleasant Ridge. Baker is currently interim principal at Pleasant Ridge. She joined KCS in 2010 as a counselor at Central High and later South-Doyle Middle. She previously worked as a teacher at Maryville City Schools and Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools. She has been an assistant principal at South-Doyle Middle and Northwest Middle. She served as assistant principal at Pleasant Ridge before being named interim principal in December 2018. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Maryville College, a master’s in school counseling from UT and an education specialist degree in administration from LMU.