New principals for Bearden High, Kelley Academy

Sandra ClarkOur Town Kids

Debbie Sayers is the new head principal of Bearden High School. She replaces principal Jason Myers, who has been promoted to executive director of student supports. Myers replaces Melissa Massie Drinnon, who retired from Knox County Schools and will join Johnson University to expand the teacher training program there.


Sayers has most recently been an assistant principal at Central High School. She joined Knox County Schools in 2002 as a teacher at West High School. She had previously taught in Michigan. She also taught at Hardin Valley Academy where she was a lead teacher and STEM Academy dean. Her first administrative position was as curriculum principal at Farragut High School.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Spring Arbor College in Michigan and a master’s in administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Jason Myers was named principal at Bearden High School in 2018 after having served as principal of Knoxville Adaptive Education Center (KAEC) since 2016. He joined KCS in 2008 as a teaching assistant at Fulton High School.

He also has served as a special-education teacher and lead teacher. He began his career in administration in 2013 as an administrative assistant and later assistant principal at West High School.

Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in special education, both from the University of Tennessee.

Jennifer Garrett has been appointed principal of Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy effective July 2019. She joined Knox County Schools in 1998 as a teacher at Karns Elementary School.

Garrett also served as a TPaCK technology coach at Sterchi Elementary. She has worked in administration at Dogwood Elementary, as campus manager at Paul Kelley Academy and as an assistant principal at L&N STEM Academy, where she currently serves.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee.

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