Dr. Christine Potts has had a busy beginning to her first year as the principal of Spring Hill High School, her 22nd year in the Maury County schools over all.
Dr. Christine Potts has had a busy beginning to her first year as the principal of Spring Hill High School, her 22nd year in the Maury County schools overall. She has worked her first two weeks without an assistant principal, and has scurried to fill both roles while awaiting her own replacement.
Potts continues her tenure at Spring Hill High following four years of service as the assistant principal there. She was promoted this summer upon the retirement of Principal Richard Callahan who had worked in that capacity for ten years.
Potts had previously served as the assistant principal at the Mount Pleasant Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts for nine years. Spring Hill Home Page caught up with her to get her thoughts about what’s new for the 2014-15 school year.
Spring Hill Home Page: What will be the main new job duties you’ll have moving from assistant principal to principal?
|Principal Christine Potts|
Christine Potts: The biggest difference in moving from an assistant principal to a principal is that ALL decisions and responsibilities now fall on my shoulders.
I have also had to move from a managerial and disciplinarian [role] into that of an instructional leader. As an instructional leader, I am now in charge of equipping my teachers with the tools and guidance they can use in the classroom to enhance their teaching strategies.
With these tools and strategies teachers will be able to add rigor and relevance in their classrooms to make sure that each and every student gets the highest quality of instruction available, each and every day.
In essence, I am in charge of making sure that all students learn. I also need to have a vision to carry my staff to the next level in making Spring Hill High School the best that it can be.
SHHP: What are your goals going into the school year?
Potts: One goal for this year is to change the culture of the school so that the environment is warm and inviting to all stakeholders; including students, faculty, staff, parents and community. Another goal is to implement a new writing and literacy program across the curriculum. Then, finally, my last goal is just to survive my first year as principal at Spring Hill High School.
SHHP: What do you see as being the key challenges facing you in your first year as principal?
Potts: I think my first key challenge has been the process of learning everything that comes along with being a principal. There are many responsibilities that a principal has that I did not even see while working as an assistant principal. Another challenge I see is to get the parents and community involved in school.
SHHP: What’s new at Spring Hill High School this year?
Potts: There are several new things going on this year. For starters the administration is changing. Obviously we have a new principal. We are also currently in the process of hiring a new assistant principal as my replacement.
We have needed to swap some offices around to make things more user-friendly. In addition, we have a new security entrance to make the school safer. Our new dress code allows students to wear any solid-colored polo shirt.
Finally, the sports [coaches] have stepped up to the plate, and are implementing new ideas to encourage school spirit and greater involvement.
SHHP: Do you have any new faculty this year?
Potts: We only had to replace two teachers out of a staff of 64. In addition, we have hired a new front office clerk and two teacher assistants. We were in pretty good shape [having a full staff] as I began.
SHHP: What’s new for students in terms of academics and offered courses?
Potts: We have implemented several new career technical programs this year. And then in the Agriculture Department we have added the following classes: dual credit greenhouse management, natural resource management, plant science and horticulture, agri-science, principles of food preparation and land and turf.
In the Consumer Science Department we have added introduction to human studies, nutrition/life, life development, nutrition science and family studies. In the Marketing Department we now offer business communications as well as a class on eÂ-commerce. Our Science Department has added a scientific research class.
I’m happy to say that several of our students have pursued dual enrollment with the technology center located at Northfield [which is just down the road from the high school on Columbia Pike]. They offer culinary classes, automotive classes, and advance principles of design classes for engineering students.
SHHP: With all your busy duties as the new principal, what else do you do in your spare time?
Potts: I am also currently a part-time adjunct professor for Middle Tennessee State University. I have been teaching for them for the past seven years.
SHHP: What’s your favorite thing about working at Spring Hill High School?
Potts: That one is easy. My favorite thing about working at Spring Hill High School is the kids. It is all about them. With over 1,000 students in the building every day. There is never a dull moment.
Staff writer Greg Jinkerson covers Spring Hill for BrentWord Communications. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JinkersonGreg.