Four high schools get new principals: Central, Halls, Hardin Valley, L&N

Sandra ClarkFountain City, Halls, Inside 640, Our Town Kids, Our Town Teens, South Knox, West Knox

Hardin Valley Academy has a new principal, effective July 1. Rob Speas, currently principal at Fulton High School, will replace Sallee Reynolds, the founding principal of the school, who has been promoted to supervisor of secondary education for Knox County Schools.


Reynolds’ husband, Michael Reynolds, retired this spring as principal of Central High School. He served many years as principal at Farragut High. Reynolds will be replaced at Central by Andrew Brown, currently principal at South-Doyle Middle School.

Spencer Long, currently an assistant principal at Bearden High School, will replace Mark Duff, who retired from Halls High School.

Jimm Allen will replace Becky Ashe, the founding principal of the L&N STEM Academy, who retired this year. Allen is currently an assistant principal at South-Doyle High School.

The appointments are effective July 2019. Here’s the bio from Knox County Schools:

Sallee Reynolds, supervisor of secondary education. Reynolds joined KCS in 1988 as a teacher at West High School. She previously taught at Knox Catholic High. She began her career in administration in 2001 as assistant principal at Central High. She served as principal at West High and, in 2007, was tapped to hire the staff for the new Hardin Valley Academy. Reynolds holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Tennessee.

Rob Speas, principal of Hardin Valley Academy. Speas joined KCS in 2000 as a teacher at Austin-East Magnet High School. He also taught at Oak Ridge High School. He began his career in administration in 2008 as assistant principal at Austin-East. He also was assistant principal at Fulton High and L&N STEM. In 2012, he was named principal of Fulton High School, where he currently serves. Speas holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in education, both from the University of Tennessee, as well as an education specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.

Spencer Long, principal of Halls High School. He joined KCS in 2011 as a teacher at Halls High. He previously taught at Jefferson County High School. He has been an assistant principal at both Karns and Bearden high schools. Long holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education, both from Carson-Newman University, as well as an educational specialist degree from the University of Tennessee.

Jimm Allen, principal of L&N STEM Academy. He joined KCS in 2012 as a teacher at West High. He previously taught in Florida. He has worked as assistant principal at L&N STEM and South-Doyle high schools. Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in Education from UT.

Andrew Brown, principal of Central High School. Brown joined KCS in 1999 as a teacher at Central. He then worked for 12 years as a teacher and principal in Bristol, Tenn. In 2016, he returned to Knox County when he was appointed principal of South-Doyle Middle School, where he currently serves. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Carson-Newman, a master’s in education from Lincoln Memorial and an education specialist degree from Carson-Newman, where he currently is pursuing a doctorate.

Anthony Norris will replace Brown as principal of South-Doyle Middle School. He joined Knox County Schools in 2000 as a teacher at the former Karns Annex Alternative School. He also worked for more than 12 years at South-Doyle High School as a teacher and mentor teacher. He began his career in administration in 2014 as an assistant principal at Farragut High School, where he currently serves. Norris holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education, both from UT, as well as an educational specialist degree from LMU.

Jamey Black Romig is the new principal of Halls Elementary School, replacing Mitchell Cox, who moved to Cedar Bluff Elementary. Romig joined KCS in 1998 as a teacher at Belle Morris Elementary. She also taught at Brickey-McCloud, worked with Project GRAD Knoxville, and served as an instructional coach at Dogwood and Halls elementary schools. She began her career in administration in 2015 as assistant principal at Halls Elementary, where she currently serves. Romig holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education, both from the University of Tennessee, as well as an education specialist degree from LMU.

Denise Cross, principal of Spring Hill Elementary. She joined KCS in 2004 as a teacher at Beaumont Magnet Academy. Cross previously worked as an elementary and middle school teacher in Oregon. She taught at Vine Middle and served as a TAP master teacher at East Knox, West View and West Haven elementary schools. She began her career in administration in 2015 as assistant principal at West Hills Elementary. She is currently assistant principal at Bonny Kate and Mount Olive elementary schools. Cross holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Oregon University and a master’s in education from LMU.

Beth Lackey has been appointed early childhood supervisor. Lackey joined KCS in 2006 as an assistant principal at Powell High School. She worked for nearly 20 years in teaching and administration in Georgia, and is currently principal at Spring Hill Elementary. Lackey holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in science education, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She holds an education specialist degree in mathematics education and an administration certification from the University of Georgia.

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