HARDIN VALLEY — After 26 years as a teacher, coach and administrator, George Ashe is retiring from the Knox County Schools System. And as he steps away, he has some simple but lofty plans.
“Now that I’m retiring, I’m looking forward to spending time with my wife,” said Ashe, who has been Hardin Valley Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics school principal and athletic director since the school opened in 2008. “I’ve neglected her for far too long.
“You know how much time I spend at school and she’s spent those evenings at home. Now, I’m going to spend time with her and we’re going to travel. The other thing I’m going to do is do some maintenance on my home. I’ve neglected that, too.”
Ashe’s wife, Becky, also is an educator. The principal at L&N STEM Academy, she also is retiring. So the couple will have plenty of time to spend together.
As a retired employee, Ashe will have the opportunity to work part time or as a substitute teacher or administrator. He’s yet to decide whether or not he’ll do that.
But he won’t be a stranger at HVA. “I’ll definitely go to some football games and I’ll definitely go to some soccer games,” said Ashe, who served as an English teacher at West High School where he also was boys soccer head coach for several years.
“The other thing that I’ll do is go to our school’s orchestra concerts,” he added. “I love our orchestra program and I’ve told those kids to text me and tell me when the concerts are.”
Webb School of Knoxville girls soccer coach Sonny Trotter has often called Ashe “a born educator” since the two worked as coaches at West.
Ashe chuckled at that label.
“The reason why I’m laughing is that I come from a time where in order to serve yourself, you had to serve your fellow man,” he said. “I always wanted to serve my students, my colleagues and my coaches.
“I came to work every day and I always felt needed. I felt needed whether it was in the office, in the classroom or on the soccer field,” he added.
Ashe certainly did go above and beyond the call of duty. He was named Teacher of the Year multiple times by his peers at West.
“I’ve been blessed to work with great people,” he said, adding about HVA, “We have great community support at our school.”