Blount County Schools is in the midst of a hiring frenzy with less than 10 days until teachers report back to school.
Heritage High School Principal Earl McMahan announced his intention to retire June 29 and worked his last day June 30. Prospect Elementary School Principal Jake Jones was named Thursday to succeed him. "It's an exciting opportunity to reach out to the community and partner with them as we work together to display Mountaineer pride and grow academically," Jones said.
"I've been really pleased with the overall level of applicants' expertise, qualifications and talents," Britt said. "They made these decisions hard, but it's a good problem. We have great employees in Blount County Schools, as evidenced by the number of employees who are hired by other districts."
Mike Crabtree, 52, was named July 10 to a position that was
repurposed when Dr. John Dalton, pre-K-5 supervisor and technology
director, resigned to become Foothills Elementary School's
principal. "Mr. Crabtree has served at every level, including the
Central Office," Britt said. "He's got a diverse background and
knowledge of instructional practices. I've also worked with him in the
past, so I know that he's got a great way about him. He's adept at both
curriculum decisions and building relationships." Crabtree has worked 27
years in Blount County Schools. He served 1988-97 as academically
talented/gifted program coordinator, then served 1997-99 as assistant
director of federal projects. Crabtree served 1999-2001 as one of
William Blount High School's assistant principals, then served 2001-09
as Carpenters Middle's assistant principal under Britt. He served the
past six years as principal. Crabtree holds a bachelor's, master's and
educational specialist from Tennessee Technological University. He is
certified in special education, as well. Crabtree and his wife, Melissa
Harris Crabtree, a Carpenters Middle School related-arts teacher, have
two children: Derrick Crabtree and Katie Crabtree Miller.
Britt also praised Jake Jones, a "data-driven leader" who "built an
outstanding data response team" at Prospect Elementary. "Mr. Jones has a
proven record of excellence. He was highly effective as a teacher,
assistant principal and principal. He has all the characteristics,
dispositions and essential qualities that we were looking for in the
person to lead Heritage High School into the future." Jones, 40, has
worked 17 years in Blount County Schools. He served 1998-2000 as a
teacher at Porter Elementary School, which was a K-8 school at that
time, where he taught subjects in grades six through eight. Jones served
2000-06 as a math teacher at Heritage Middle School. He served 2006-11
as Porter Elementary School's assistant principal, then served the past
four years as Prospect Elementary School's principal.
Matthew Stewart-The Daily Times