Principals of Hamilton County Schools welcomed 11 new team members in a variety of areas, including opportunity and access, exceptional education, teaching and learning, and athletics, according to a statement from press from the school system regarding personnel changes.
“Strong and effective leadership continues to be a priority for schools in Hamilton County,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Sonia Stewart said in the statement. “As we prepare for the start of the 2022-23 school year, we are thrilled to hire such a large group of leaders, both within our own ranks and across the country.”
The new principals for Hamilton County Schools for the coming year are:
Celeste McKenzie, Director of Specially Designed Education for Exceptional Education
McKenzie has served as an Outstanding Education Supervisor for the MidTown and Missionary Ridge Learning Communities and brings with her more than 29 years to her educational career. She served as a middle school teacher at East Lake and Hunter Colleges and a high school inclusion teacher and district co-lead trainer in the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia.
McKenzie holds a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Special Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Capella University, and an Honors in Leadership from Bethel University. . In 2016, she was named Teach Plus Policy Fellow.
Christina Moore, Chief Compliance Officer for Exceptional Education
Moore started with Hamilton County Schools in 2005 and eventually became the Outstanding Education Supervisor for Elementary Schools in 2014.
She has worked at all school levels as an autism consultant for seven years and also has experience as an inclusion teacher and development teacher.
Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and a master’s degree in education from Trevecca University in Nashville.
Dr. Arica Austin, Director of Eligibility and Assessment for Exceptional Education
Austin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist and has held various school district positions for the past 10 years.
She was a school psychologist for the Brentwood School District in Long Island, New York, for four years, and conducted individual therapy, group therapy, and assessments for students of all ages and grade levels.
Austin has worked with a large student population as a school psychologist and is committed to providing high-quality support, assessments and referrals to all to address mental health and academic disparities in the community, according to the statement. hurry.
Austin’s qualifications are numerous, including a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook State University of New York, a Master of Arts in Child Development from Tufts University, a Master of Arts in professional psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Doctor of Psychology from William James College, and Doctor of Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology from St. John’s University.
Terrilyn Ladd, Director of Related Services for Exceptional Education
Ladd started with Hamilton County Schools in 2009 then moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she served for 10 years, most recently as an Outstanding Education Supervisor for Allied Services Supporting speech/language, education of the dead, physiotherapy, TennCare reimbursements and much more.
For nine years, Ladd served as a lead teacher in exceptional education, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of South Alabama and a Master of Science in Science from speech and hearing from Tennessee State University and an education specialist. degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Ladd is also a nationally licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with experience in diagnosing and treating speech and language disorders in children and adults.
Jennifer Allison, Director of Access, Transition and Academic Support for Exceptional Education
Allison has worked for Hamilton County Schools since 1993 and most recently served as the Outstanding Educational Supervisor for its secondary programs from 2010-2020.
Her career in special education began at Soddy Daisy Secondary School, where she worked as a special education teacher for 17 years and held the title of department head for eight years.
She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in special education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and was named a 2015-16 Cohort 17 member of the Public Education Foundation Leadership Fellows program.
Rachel Gordon, Behavioral Director for Exceptional Education
With an 18-year career in education, Gordon joins Hamilton County Schools from Knox County, where she served as the system-wide behavior liaison team leader for elementary schools until in 2018.
Gordon has also worked as a special education teacher and holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Saint Mary’s College, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Tennessee, and an education specialist diploma in leadership. teaching at Lincoln Memorial University.
John Rice, college principal
Rice, an educator since 2005, comes from the Cedar Rapids Community School District in Iowa, where he was executive director of teaching and learning.
During his teaching tenure, he worked as a middle school English and social studies teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, Daegu, South Korea, and Washington, D.C., where he was director of Blended Learning and Director of Educational Technology.
Rice holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Trinity Baptist University in Jacksonville, Florida, a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Education in Secondary Education, both from the University of North Florida at Jacksonville. Currently, Rice is working toward a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies from the University of Iowa.
Jim Boles, Director of Access and School Choice
Boles has worked for Hamilton County Schools since 1993, most recently at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, where he taught social studies before becoming vice-principal and then finally his most recent title of executive director.
He was also a vice principal for one year at East Ridge High School and three years at Hixson Middle School.
Boles holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and an Education Specialist degree in K-12 Administration. from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
Grant Knowles, Director of Innovation and Fine Arts
Knowles assumes his trusteeship after a three-year tenure as Innovation Coordinator for Hamilton County Schools. He began teaching in 2005 in Tucker, Georgia, where he served from 2010 to 2013.
Knowles also worked as Head of the Elementary Science Department at Harare International School, an International Baccalaureate Global School in Zimbabwe. He finally came to Hamilton County Schools in 2013 where he started as a Volkswagen eLab specialist, served as a project/problem-based learning coach and teacher at Normal Park Museum Magnet School.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Georgia University and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.
Dr. Yvette Stewart, Director of Elementary Learning and K-12 Literacy
Stewart has worked in public education for over 25 years. She is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is originally from North Carolina.
Stewart’s tenure in education began in 1996 as a kindergarten teacher. She spent 13 years in the Durham and Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school systems as an elementary school teacher, vice-principal and middle school vice-principal.
Prior to heading to Hamilton County Schools in 2018, Stewart spent 10 years as a professional development consultant and coordinator of the Race to the Top project for professional learning with the Carolina Department of Public Instruction. North. She also served as Deputy Director of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Division of Educator Effectiveness.
In her new leadership for Hamilton County, she will be responsible for strengthening the utilization and fidelity of K-12 literacy program implementation.
Tim James, Athletic Director
Coming from a position at East Ridge High School, James has served Hamilton County students as a future-ready coach, athletic director, head football and track coach, and assistant principal on multiple occasions. since 2016.
James’ career also took him to Heritage High School in Ringgold, Georgia, where he worked as a social studies teacher and was a football head coach from 2008 to 2014 and LaFayette High School where he taught and coached football from 2014 to 2016.
He brings 30 years of education experience and also served with the 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, US Army.
James holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Social Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Tennessee Technological University, and an Education Specialist Diploma in Curriculum of study and teaching from Tennessee Tech.
— Compiled by Brandi Dixon