Administrative Shuffle in Knox County Schools

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Come fall, lots of Knox County schools will
have new faces not only in the classrooms, but in the principal's office.

Timing is driving this administrative shuffling before the new superintendent takes over.

Dr. James McIntyre doesn't become superintendent until July. That's only a month and a half before school starts.

Many administrators and teachers have announced retirement early to beat a deadline that lets them cash out their sick days--for five times the usual rate.

But there are other factors.

"Academically, there's so much potential with the school that just got a New Elementary School--feeder school to Gibbs high school."

Acting Principal Lynn Hill says he has no strong reason to leave Bearden High School.

But the chance to lead the school where you graduated.

"This is my 26 year in education, I knew the position wouldn't come open very often, so I thought this might be a once in a career, once in a lifetime opportunity."

Eleven Knox County principals transferring or being reassigned.

Half a dozen Knox County Elementary principals are retiring

Most of them veterans not only in the District, but in their particular schools.

Vine Middle and Gibbs High School are losing their principals and Top assistants.

Knox County Schools spokesman Russ Oaks says, "We're probably in a better position that we've ever been as far as administrative positions are concerned and going through the process of filling vacancies."

Fulton and Austin-East are special cases. Low performance and test scores mean that every job is open.

Teachers will have to re-apply to stay here.

Austin-East's new principal Benny Perry, wants to make students and teachers comfortable with change.

"Austin-East is still gonna be a performing arts school...We have to put their mind at rest so they know they have a job, then we can focus on the job at hand of trying to develop and plan these three communities."

Tenured teachers will have jobs.

Oaks says, "If not it doesn't mean you don't have a position, but it means we can't guarantee anything."

Bearden parents want Lynn Hills successor to guarantee
he or she will listen, and students-- learn

Bearden PTSO President-elect Lisa Wilkerson says, "We have always been you know, at the top of the report card and things like that, so we want to maintain that level and exceed that."

Hill says he has a number of ideas to boost Gibbs High School's learning and sports, something he'll talk about once he becomes principal.

Austin-East and Fulton High School's new principals should have interviews and hiring recommendations ready in a couple of weeks.

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