Wormsley bids farewell to Halls Middle

Shannon CareyFeature, Halls

After 18 years at Halls Middle School, beloved assistant principal Jay Wormsley has taken retirement, saying his goodbyes at a party in the school library May 24.

“He is a wonderful friend, and he always has been,” said principal Jessica Strickland.


Wormsley has been with Knox County Schools for 31 years. He graduated from UT with a degree in communications, but decided to go into education.

“I really just didn’t want to pursue that, and I had always liked being around kids, so I went back and got my teaching certificate,” he said.

He taught social studies, mostly American government and economics, and coached basketball and baseball at Gibbs High School until 2000, when he was hired as assistant principal at Halls Middle School. There, he served under three principals: Doug Oliver, Tim Wiegenstein and Strickland.

“It’s a great school, it’s a great atmosphere,” said Wormsley. “It’s a close-knit staff with supportive parents and a great school environment.”

While co-workers at the retirement party swapped funny tales of Wormsley’s time at Halls, he said his treasured memories will be a bit different.

“I’ve got enough tales to fill a book,” he said. “I guess the memories are just watching the kids grow up, watching how the evolve from 6th to 8th grade, and working with a tremendous bunch of people.”

Wormsley plans to keep serving on the Halls Business and Professional Association board of directors in retirement, but right now he’s taking it easy for a couple of months. He and wife Amy have one daughter, Meredith, who is a senior at Halls High School. They attend Fountain City United Methodist Church, where Wormsley serves on several committees.

“It’s been a great experience. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, and I enjoyed my time at HMS tremendously,” he said.

Refreshments at Jay Wormsley’s retirement party

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