Halls High School has a new head principal. Spencer Long has replaced Mark Duff, who retired. Duff had been principal at Halls since fall 2005 and previously taught social studies at Halls.
Long, 32, is a third-generation Halls guy. He graduated from Halls High School in 2005, and his parents, Mike and Debbie Long, continue to live in the community.
“I’ve chosen to live in Halls and raise my family here. Being principal at Halls High School, following a legend like Mark Duff, that’s my dream job.” Like Duff, he says he wants to be here long enough to see his kids graduate from Halls High School.
Long has a “growth mindset,” though, and he plans to rally the community to improve Halls High. He says Halls has excellent teachers whose students consistently show academic growth greater than predicted outcomes.
“Halls High has hovered at No. 4 or 5 (ranking of 14 high schools). We’ve got the teachers and the kids to be in the top three.”
Spencer Long and his wife, then Stephanie Moseley, met in health science class at Halls High School. So she’s also a Halls native and now works in Union County. The couple have two children and attend Salem Baptist Church.
Long taught AP biology and anatomy/physiology at Halls High School, starting in 2011. He began his teaching career at Jefferson County High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in educational leadership from Carson-Newman University and an education specialist degree in administration from the University of Tennessee.
Long has worked as an assistant principal and athletics director at Karns High School and, most recently, was assistant principal for 11th-grade students at Bearden High. He visited the Halls Business & Professional Association on June 18 and interviewed for this story on June 20. He doesn’t officially start work at Halls until July 1.
He told the business association that Halls has a strong feeder program with high school students having been together through elementary and middle school. “We want to leverage community support to help our kids.”
Long said Meagan Booth will be leaving Halls, where she has served as assistant principal and athletics director, to become assistant principal for curriculum at Karns High. Tucker Jackson, now an assistant principal at Karns High, is coming to Halls as athletics director. Assistant principal Riley Brewer will continue at Halls as assistant principal for curriculum.
Booth joined Knox County Schools in 2009 as a math teacher at Halls High. She then taught math at Powell High (2013-15) before becoming numeracy coach at Green Magnet Academy in 2015. She returned to Halls High as an assistant principal in 2016.