Public gives input on Thompson successor

About 40 Farragut High School parents, teachers and students gathered to give input on what kind of principal

they would choose to replace Stephanie Thompson during a public parent meeting in FHS library Monday, June 6.

Thompson’s resignation as FHS’s principal was announced in a school newsletter Friday, June 3.

“Being the leader at Farragut High School has been an honor and professionally, it has been a very rewarding experience,” Thompson said Tuesday, June 7. “Farragut has the brightest young minds I have ever had the pleasure of supporting.

“Last week, I accepted the position as principal of Byington Solway Career and Technology Center. The vision of Knox County Schools is

to ensure we prepare students for success in the work force and post-secondary education through technical skills instr-uction grounded in real world application.  

“As a teacher, I was a career and technical teacher in business,” Thompson added. “I have a passion for providing students multiple pathways to career success.” 

During the meeting June 6, Danny Trent, Knox County Schools Secondary Education supervisor, said the superintendent of schools holds such parent meetings to get public feedback. No decision had been made on the principal position as of deadline, and there actually are two open positions at FHS. The other is the curriculum principal.

“This school is the best school, not just in Knox County but in the nation,” Trent said.

Some attendees said FHS is a high-performing school with dedicated parents, students and teachers.

“We also have a high level of diversity,” Arlene Driver, FHS parent, said.

“I think a lot of people have moved here because of the high school,” Andrea Valdyke said.

Parents said they want a principal who is a good leader, one who will not come in with his or her own agenda but would be willing to listen to teachers.

Amber Reiman said she hopes the new principal

will have an awareness of

global citizenry and prepare students for post-education and career opportunities abroad.

Margaret Manneschmidt said she hopes the lead principal will be a tireless advocate of teachers while Mark Littleton said the school needs a strong success plan in the future.

“We need someone who is going to attract and retain good teachers,” Driver said.

While maintaining tradition was important for some parents and teachers, Valdyke said the new principal also should be willing to take a risk and try new things.