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2024-2025 Administrative Appointments

Team Member

Donna Brunson Appointed Principal of Ridgedale School

 
Donna Brunson has been appointed principal of Ridgedale School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Brunson joined Knox County Schools in 2008 as a teacher at Vine Middle School. She previously worked as a senior program counselor and program therapist at Peninsula Behavioral Health. She began teaching at Austin-East Magnet High School in 2011 and began her career in administration in 2018 as an assistant principal at Fulton High School, where she currently serves.
 
Ms. Brunson holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from American Intercontinental University, and an Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Jennifer Vacek Appointed Principal of West Valley Middle School

 
Jennifer Vacek has been appointed principal of West Valley Middle School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Vacek joined Knox County Schools in 2011 as a teacher at Fulton High School. In 2015, she started working as a TPaCK instructional coach at Bearden High School. She began her career in administration in 2018 as an administrative assistant at Vine Middle School and became an assistant principal at Vine Middle in 2020. She is currently an assistant principal at Hardin Valley Academy.
 
Ms. Vacek holds a bachelor’s degree in English – Rhetoric and Writing, and a master’s degree in English Education, both from the University of Tennessee, as well as an Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Ashley Ketner Appointed Principal of Richard Yoakley School

 
Ashley Ketner has been appointed principal of Richard Yoakley School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Ketner joined Knox County Schools in 2004 as a program facilitator at Knoxville Adaptive Education Center (K.A.E.C.), where she worked for 16 years. At K.A.E.C., she supervised the K-8 program and the high school intervention program, as well as served as administrator of the Night Alternative Program.
 
Prior to becoming a facilitator, she served as a team leader/liaison with Helen Ross McNabb’s Bridges Program at K.A.E.C. In 2020, she was named principal of K.A.E.C., where she currently serves.
 
Ms. Ketner holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Centre College in Kentucky, a Special Education teaching license from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Carson Newman University.
 
 

 
Team Member

Cory Smith Appointed Principal of Knoxville Adaptive Education Center

 
Dr. Cory Smith has been appointed principal of Knoxville Adaptive Education Center (K.A.E.C.) effective July 2024.
 
Dr. Smith joined Knox County Schools in 2006 as principal of Rocky Hill Elementary School, where he served for 11 years. He previously worked as a special education teacher in Maine before becoming the special education director and principal of Greenville Schools in Maine. Prior to entering the education field, he served in the U.S. Army and continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2017, he wasappointed the founding principal of Hardin Valley Middle School, where he currently serves.
 
Dr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Maine – Farmington and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Maine - Orono, as well as anEducational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, both from Carson-Newman University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Rachel Harmon Appointed Principal of Hardin Valley Middle School

 
Dr. Rachel Harmon has been appointed principal of Hardin Valley Middle School effective July 2024.
 
Dr. Harmon joined Knox County Schools in 2010 as a teacher at Bearden High School. In 2013, she became the TPaCK Instructional Coach at Bearden High. She began her career in administration in 2016 when she was named an assistant principal at Bearden High. She later became an assistant principal at West Valley Middle School and is currently an assistant principal at West High School.
 
Dr. Harmon holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Writing, a master’s degree in Teacher Education and an education specialist degree in Education with a concentration in Education Administration, all from the University of Tennessee, as well as a doctorate degree inLeadership with a concentration in Education, from the University of the Cumberlands.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Ryan Siebe Appointed Chief of Schools for Knox County Schools

 
Ryan Siebe has been appointed Chief of Schools for Knox County Schools effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Siebe joined Knox County Schools in 2000 as a teacher at Powell Middle School. He previously worked as a teacher at Unicoi County High School. He also served as a teacher at Farragut High School. He began his career in administration in 2007 as an administrative assistant at Fulton High School and later as an assistant principal at West High School. He was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2010 and placed at Fulton High School as an assistant principal.
 
He has been an assistant principal at Austin-East High School, principal at Carter High School, and principal at Farragut High School. In 2019, he was named Human Resources supervisor for secondary education, and in 2022, he became Human Resources supervisor of alternative licensure, a position that he currently holds.
 
Mr. Siebe holds a bachelor's degree in English from Milligan College, a master's degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech University and an education specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Tennessee.
 
 

 
Team Member

John “J.D.” Faulconer Appointed Principal of Fulton High School

 
Dr. John “J.D.” Faulconer has been appointed principal of Fulton High School effective July 2024.
 
Dr. Faulconer joined Knox County Schools in 2013 as the founding principal of Career Magnet Academy. He previously worked five years as a teacher and 12 years in administration for Anderson County Schools and the Corbin Independent School System. In 2016, he was named Career and Technical Education Specialist of Curriculum and Instruction for KCS, and in 2023, he became principal of Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy, where he currently serves.
 
Dr. Faulconer holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Tennessee Technological University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University. He was recently commissioned as a Captain into the United States Army Reserves.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Carl Whipple Appointed Principal of Gap Creek Elementary

 
Carl Whipple has been appointed principal of Gap Creek Elementary School effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Whipple joined Knox County Schools in 1998 as a teacher at Vine Middle School. He previously worked at Darlington School in Georgia and at Webb School of Knoxville. He began his career in administration in 2006 when he was appointed assistant principal at Norwood Elementary. In 2019, was named assistant principal at Northshore Elementary School. He is currently principal of West Haven Elementary School.
 
Mr. Whipple holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Davidson College in North Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in Music Education and an education specialist degree in Leadership and Administration, both from the University of Tennessee.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Sofia Roth Appointed Principal of Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy

 
Dr. Sofia Roth has been appointed principal of Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy effective July 2024.
 
Dr. Roth joined Knox County Schools in 2002 as a teacher at Carter High School. She began teaching at Fulton High School in 2008 and later became an assistant administrator and ELL student support coordinator at Fulton High. She was named assistant principal of Vine Middle School in 2016 and later served an assistant principal at Fulton High and principal of the Night Alternative School. In 2023, she became principal of Richard Yoakley School, where she currently serves.
 
Dr. Roth holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, a master’s degree in ESL/FL Secondary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in Supervision and Administration, all from the University of Tennessee, as well as a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

James Slay Appointed Principal of Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy

 
James Slay has been appointed principal of Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Slay joined Knox County Schools in 2011 as a teacher at Inskip Elementary School. He was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2016 and placed at Shannondale Elementary School as an assistant principal. In 2017, he was named assistant principal of Green Magnet Academy. He is currently principal of Gap Creek Elementary.
 
Mr. Slay holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from South College and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Tennessee.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Robin Curry Appointed Principal of Vine Middle School

 
Robin Curry has been appointed principal of Vine Middle School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Curry joined Knox County Schools in 2001 as a teacher at Bearden Elementary School. She also worked as a parent educator before returning as a teacher at Cedar Bluff Middle School. She was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2015 and placed at Vine Middle School as an assistant principal, and later served as assistant principal of West Valley Middle School. In 2019, she was named principal of Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy, where she currently serves.
 
Ms. Curry holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology, a master's degree in Elementary Education and an education specialist degree in Educational Leadership, all from the University of Tennessee.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Tye Sutton Appointed Principal of West Haven Elementary School

 
Tye Sutton has been appointed principal of West Haven Elementary School effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Sutton joined Knox County Schools in 2014 as an assistant principal at Fulton High School. He previously worked as teacher in Alabama and Ohio and served 13 years as an administrator in Ohio. He has also been a principal at South-Doyle Middle School and an assistant principal at Northwest Middle School. In 2017, he was named an assistant principal at Karns High School. He is currently principal of Vine Middle School.
 
Mr. Sutton holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education from Alabama State University and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Wright State University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Seth Smith Appointed Interim Region One Supervisor

 
Seth Smith has been appointed Interim Supervisor of Region One effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Smith joined Knox County Schools in 1997 as a teacher at Farragut High School. He later taught at Fulton High School. He began his career in administration in 2006 when he was appointed assistant principal at Carter High School. He has also served as an assistant principal at Farragut and Central high schools, and in 2015, he was named principal of Richard Yoakley School. He is currently principal of Fulton High School, a position he has held since 2019.
 
Mr. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Rob Speas Appointed Principal of Austin-East Magnet High School

 
Dr. Rob Speas has been appointed principal of Austin-East Magnet High School effective June 2024.
 
Dr. Speas joined Knox County Schools in 2000 as a teacher and coach at Austin-East Magnet High. He also worked as a teacher at Oak Ridge High School. He began his career in administration in 2008 as assistant principal at Austin-East Magnet High. He was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2010 and placed at Fulton High School as an assistant principal. He also served as assistant principal at L&N STEM Academy.
 
In 2012, he was named principal of Fulton High School, and later became principal of Hardin Valley Academy. He is currently an assistant principal at Farragut High School.
 
Dr. Speas holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Education, both from the University of Tennessee, an education specialist degree in Educational Administration from Lincoln Memorial University, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.
 
 

 
Team Member

Tammi Campbell Appointed Director of Student and Family Supports

 
Tammi Campbell has been appointed Director of Student and Family Supports effective June 2024.
 
Ms. Campbell joined Knox County Schools in 2002 working with Project GRAD for seven years before becoming a school counselor at Austin-East Magnet High School. She previously served as a training specialist for Knoxville’s Community Development Corp., and as a trainer and customer service representative for businesses in Nashville and Knoxville.
 
She was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2011 and placed at Hardin Valley Academy as an assistant principal. She also served as an assistant principal at Austin-East Magnet High for five years before being named in 2017 Ombudsman for Knox County Schools. She is currently principal of Austin-East Magnet High.
 
Ms. Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Clark Atlanta University; a master’s degree in Education from Tusculum College; a master’s degree in school counseling and an Educational Specialist degree in Administration Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
 
 

 
Team Member

Beth Spence Appointed Principal of East Knox County Elementary School

 
Beth Spence has been appointed principal of East Knox County Elementary School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Spence joined Knox County Schools in 2010 as a teacher at Gibbs Elementary School. She began her career in administration in 2019 as an assistant administrator at Amherst Elementary School, and in 2021, she was named an assistant principal of Amherst Elementary, where she currently serves.
 
Ms. Spence holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Elementary Education, both from the University of Tennessee, and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a Leadership licensure from Lincoln Memorial University.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Kathleen Turnmire Appointed Principal of Whittle Springs Middle School

 
Kathleen Turnmire has been appointed principal of Whittle Springs Middle School effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Turnmire joined Knox County Schools in 2017 as a teacher and instructional coach at Austin-East Magnet High School. She began her career in education in 2007 as a teacher at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, and later worked at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School and Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School.
 
She began her career in administration in 2019 as an assistant administrator and instructional coach at Dr. Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy and in 2021 worked as an assistant administrator at Austin-East High. She is currently an assistant principal at Austin-East Magnet High.
 
Ms. Turnmire holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University, and ELL and Administration certifications from Belmont University and Carson-Newman University, respectively.
 
 

 
Team Member

Kirk Renegar Appointed Principal of Hardin Valley Academy

 
Dr. Kirk Renegar as been appointed principal of Hardin Valley Academy effective July 2024.
 
Dr. Renegar joined Knox County Schools in 2008 as a teacher at Hardin Valley Academy. He began his career in administration in Virginia in 2013 as an assistant principal at Patrick County High School and later was named principal of Hardin Reynolds Memorial School.
 
He served as principal of Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge beginning in 2018 and worked as Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at Tennessee Wesleyan University in 2022. He is currently an assistant principal at Central High School.
 
Dr. Renegar holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern American History from Brevard College, a master’s degree in Education from Shenandoah University, an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
 
 

 
Team Member

Daniel Champion Appointed Principal of Karns Elementary School

 
Daniel Champion has been appointed principal of Karns Elementary School effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Champion joined Knox County Schools in 2003 as a teacher at Knoxville Adaptive Education Center (K.A.E.C.). He has worked as a teacher in Loudon County as well as at Karns Middle School and Vine Middle Magnet, where he was also a TAP master teacher.
 
He began his career in administration in 2015 as an assistant principal at Vine Middle Magnet and later served as an assistant principal at Gresham Middle School and Ridgedale Alternative. In 2018, he was named principal of K.A.E.C. and in 2020, he became principal of Whittle Springs Middle School, where he currently serves.
 
Mr. Champion holds a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Tennessee, and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Tennessee, Martin.
 
 

 
Team Member

Shelly Maddux Appointed Interim Director of Region One

 
Dr. Shelly Maddux has been appointed Interim Director of Region One for Knox County Schools effective May 2024.
 
Dr. Maddux joined Knox County Schools in 2006 as a teacher at Brickey-McCloud Elementary School. She began her career in administration in 2011 when she was appointed assistant principal at Carter Elementary School. She was selected to be part of the University of Tennessee’s Leadership Academy in 2013 and placed at Dogwood Elementary School as an assistant principal. In 2014, she was named principal of Pond Gap Elementary and later appointed principal of Amherst Elementary.
 
In 2022, she was named Supervisor of Region One, a position that she currently holds.
 
Dr. Maddux holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Elementary Education, both from the University of Tennessee, an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands.
 
 

 
Team Member

Mitchell Cox Appointed Director of Employee Relations

 
Mitchell Cox has been appointed Director of Employee Relations for Knox County Schools effective July 2024.
 
Mr. Cox joined Knox County Schools in 2017 as principal of Halls Elementary School. He taught seven years at Sullivan North High School before becoming a teacher and administrative assistant at Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee in 2012. He began his career in administration the following year as an assistant principal at Sullivan Central High School and served as principal of Indian Springs Elementary School.
 
In 2019, he was named principal of Cedar Bluff Elementary and later served as Supervisor of Employee Relations for KCS. In 2023, he was named principal of Hardin Valley Academy, where he currently serves.
 
Mr. Cox holds a bachelor’s degree in History from East Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University, and an Educational Leadership license from Union College.
 
 

 
Team Member

Lindsay Burke-Melton Appointed Director of Compensation

 
Lindsay Burke-Melton has been appointed Director of Compensation for Knox County Schools effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Burke-Melton has experience in finance and business management operations within various offices of the University of Tennessee, including the Provost Office, Information Technology Services, College of Social Work and College of Nursing. She currently is the Assistant Dean of Finance, Administration and Facilities in Digital Learning at the University of Tennessee.
 
Ms. Burke-Melton holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Economics and an executive masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Tennessee.
 
 
 

 
Team Member

Kristi Woods Appointed Chief of Staff

 
Kristi Woods has been apppointed Chief of Staff for Knox County Schools effective July 2024.
 
Ms. Woods joined Knox County Schools in 2002 as a teacher at East Knox County Elementary School. She previously taught elementary school in Warren County and junior high in Wilson County. She served as an instructional coach at several KCS schools until 2010, when she began her career in administration as an assistant principal at East Knox County Elementary.
 
She was selected to be part of the University of Tennessee’s Leadership Academy in 2011 and placed at Christenberry Elementary as an assistant principal. She also was an assistant principal at Beaumont Magnet Academy before becoming principal of East Knox County Elementary, where she currently serves.
 
Ms. Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science Education from Tennessee Wesleyan College, a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University, and an educational specialist degree in Educational Administration from the University of Tennessee.