Martin announces personnel changes

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Dr. Michael Martin is no stranger to implementing personnel changes.  

In his first days on the job as Campbell County’s director of schools, Martin was forced to make some tough reassignments in administration.  

Now with just a little more than a month before the start of school Martin is once again faced with making changes in leadership he feels is best for individual schools and the system as a whole.

On the heels of the recent announcement that both of the county’s struggling high schools exceeded the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) benchmarks, Robbie Heatherly will continue to lead Campbell County High School as will Don Walden at Jellico High School.

The bulk of the changes will occur at the elementary school level and according to Martin, are directly related to academic achievement.

“The moves I made were based on student performance and one move creates a sort of domino effect,” Martin said of the dynamic created by the need to move principals.

At the elementary level several schools will see new faces in the principal’s office. Lori Adkins will fill the principal position at Caryville Elementry formerly held by Sandra Chaniott.  

Chaniott will move on to lead Jacksboro Elementary.  Harry Chitwood will make the move from White Oak Elementary to head up Jellico Elementary and Dixie Crouch will fill the vacancy left at White Oak Elementary.  

Wynn Elementary will see new leadership in Donna Singley.

Gilbert Lay, Jeannie Higdon and Steve Rutherford will return to Elk Valley, LaFollette Elementary and Valley View Elementary respectively.

Jamie Wheeler and John Turnblazer will also be back for repeat performances at Jacksboro and LaFollette Middle Schools.

While Martin acknowledges that change is difficult he stands by his conviction that principals are ultimately responsible for their school’s success or failure.

“Strong instructional leadership is the key to any school’s success.  If you have a strong leader then you will have strong performance because they demand it,” Martin concluded.