Familiar face at the helm

Adorante promoted to principal at Farragut Intermediate

A familiar face is taking the helm at Farragut Intermediate School this coming school year.

Debbie Adorante, who has been with the school since 2007, has been promoted to principal.

“I’m very excited and also feel very honored to serve such a hard-working staff and to be part of a wonderful community with parents who are very involved and very supportive,” she said. “I’ve had some great mentors in this building who’ve inspired me, and I’m just excited about the opportunity that’s been given to me.

“I want to continue to focus on students, their achievements and growth,” she added. “(I want to) continue building and nurturing a positive culture. We want to believe in all students’ abilities.

“I think this school is very invigorating,” added Adorante, who has been in education since 1980. “We have so much that goes on each day, and it’s very challenging.

“We have such a diverse population — people who really want to work hard and do what’s best for students.”

Her experiences at FIS have given her a “big picture” for leading the school, she said.

Adorante started at FIS as an instructional coach, also called curriculum facilitator, which she did for five years. In that role, she was a liaison between the different Knox County Schools’ departments and teachers.

When Kay Wellons was FIS principal in fall 2012, Adorante was promoted to assistant principal. During her six years in that capacity, she also worked with principals Reggie Mosley and Dr. Chris Henderson.

Before coming to FIS, Adorante, who has been with Knox County Schools since 2000, taught fourth and fifth grades at Blue Grass Elementary School, was a talented and gifted teacher at Hardin Valley Elementary School and Karns Primary School and was an instructional coach at Sterchi and Chilhowee schools. She also taught in the Johnson City Schools system and Laurel Bay (U.S. Department of Defense) Schools in South Carolina.

Joining Adorante at the helm are Amy Schumpert, a new FIS assistant principal, and Stacy Hilliard, who is starting her second year as assistant principal at FIS.

“I’m brand new to Farragut this year, (but) I’ve known Debbie for a little bit of time though,” Schumpert said. “I’m very excited, and I’m very happy to be here.

Schumpert, who has been in education for 25 years, was assistant principal for four years at Inskip Elementary.

“I’m just honored to be working with (Adorante),” Hilliard said. “I worked with her last year and couldn’t be more excited that she’s now the principal.

“She’s got such a good vision for the school, and I can’t wait to see that come to light,” added Hilliard, who has been in education for a little more than 20 years.