Betz climbs from FMS teacher/coach to Primary School assistant principal

Farragut Primary School welcomes a new assistant principal to its faculty this school year.

Ches Betz, who has served in Farragut Middle School as an English teacher, coach and administrative assistant for six years, was hired as FPS’ assistant principal in July.

“He’s doing a fantastic job,” FPS principal Gina Byrd said about Betz. “He has a great reputation with the Farragut community.

“What I like most about him is he has gotten to know the teachers and the students, which is super important in a primary school.”

Betz taught eighth-grade English and coached track and field at FMS for a few years before taking on the role of instructional coach and administrative assistant for the last two years.

In administration, he had worked with teachers on curriculum, Professional Learning Communities and other duties. Mostly, however, Betz said he worked with students who needed extra academic or behavioral help.

“So, it’s been a big change going from middle schoolers to 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds,” Betz said.

For several years, he has wanted an assistant principal post so when Betz heard FPS added that position, he applied.

“Gina called me and set up an interview. I went through the waiting process and [the move to FPS has] been a great change,” Betz said. “[Administration is] a good fit for my skill set.

“I’m super-passionate about people and kids in particular. Being in an administrative role, I’m a big believer that the way that we treat people, it goes from the top down,” he added.

Betz said one of his favorite quotes is: “If the principal sneezes, the whole building gets a cold.”

“I’m just a big believer that school leaders need to have positive mindsets, and that’s really going to have a big impact on student learning,” he said.

Betz added Farragut schools are “great places.”

“Being in Farragut, in a classroom and a coach and then working in an administrative role at the middle school, we’ve got the best kids around,” Betz said. “Probably our best assets are our parents. They are second to none with their involvement; so being able to stay in Farragut, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

“We’ve got a leg up on most places because of our kids and our parents,” he added.

Betz said before being hired at FPS he already knew the primary school had an excellent reputation. “They did a great job with our kids,” he said.

“Once I met Gina, my phone started ringing off the wall by people who heard I might be coming,” Betz added.

Callers told him “so many positive things about the school community,” he said. “And, Gina just does a phenomenal job. The most unique part about this place is everyone is pulling in the same direction. We’re all about kids.”

Betz leaves FMS with fond memories. During his time there, the track and field boys’ team won the Knox County championship three years in a row and the girls’ team won the championship three out of four of the years he coached at FMS.

An educator for eight years, Betz resides in Farragut with his wife, Linda Betz, an attorney, and their 4-year-old daughter, Mia.