New principals for HVA, Northshore Elementary School

As Knox County Schools prepares for the upcoming school year, Hardin Valley Academy and Northshore Elementary School will welcome new administrative leaders.

After 11 years leading Hardin Valley Academy, Sallee Reynolds, founding principal, is heading downtown to the Central Office as Secondary Education supervisor starting in July.

Fulton High School principal Rob Speas, a Powell resident, has been appointed as HVA principal, where he will assume his duties Monday, July 1.

Dr. Keith Cottrell has been appointed principal of Northshore Elementary School, replacing Brandon Pitt, who has been named principal at New Hopewell Elementary School.


“I’ve been at Fulton for the past seven years. I was very happy and content there but I always, kind of, had my eye — if I was going to do something else in Knox County — on Hardin Valley,” Speas said. “It was always the school I had looked at and said, ‘That was probably the place I would love to work and grow and be challenged in a new direction.’

“I think Hardin Valley is a fabulous school,” he added. “Mrs. Reynolds has done a great job creating a culture here that’s really special.

“I’m excited to try and continue that culture and grow it to move in the next generation of the life of the school.”

Additionally, Speas has a variety of experiences in different types of schools. “I’ve worked in suburban schools, I’ve worked in urban schools, so I think this was an opportunity for me to bring some of my skill set here,” he said.


“Northshore has a reputation for excellence, and I’m looking forward to supporting the great work the teachers and staff do each day for the students and families of the Northshore community,” Cottrell said.

“I know our superintendent Bob Thomas is very thoughtful and intentional about matching principals with a school’s strengths and opportunities, and I hope to bring my own unique set of experiences and leadership style to Northshore,” he added.

Cottrell joined Knox County Schools in 1998 as a teacher at Cedar Bluff Intermediate School and subsequently as a teacher at A.L. Lotts Elementary, Blue Grass Elementary and Sterchi Elementary schools. He was selected to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2011 and was appointed assistant principal at Cedar Bluff Elementary School.

Cottrell also served as assistant principal at Farragut Primary and currently is principal of Cedar Bluff Elementary, and is being replaced by Mitchell Cox, who has been principal of Halls Elementary School.