Grand Marshal’s ‘west’ switch: Byrd from FPS to A.L. Lotts principal; White fills void

After leading Farragut Primary School since 2012, principal Gina Byrd has assumed the same position at A.L. Lotts Elementary School — where she first taught in Knox County Schools nearly two decades ago.

Byrd (see photo, left) began in her new role Thursday, July 1. She had been with FPS for 12 years, and was first appointed an assistant principal there in 2009.

Taking her place at FPS is former KCS administrator Lynn White, a Farragut High School alumnae who also started her new role July 1.

Byrd departs

Knox County Schools announced the job change on its website, while Byrd sent a parental e-mail announcing her move.

“I want to express my gratitude for allowing me to be part of Farragut Primary family for the past 12 years,” her e-mail stated. “I have loved serving the students and hold this community in the highest regard. That is why it is difficult to tell you that I will be leaving FPS to become the principal at A.L. Lotts Elementary next school year.

“Lotts is where I started my career teaching kindergarten, and where I hope to finish my career in Knox County,” she added.

Byrd’s post on Facebook further stated, “My family (staff and parents) at FPS will always be a huge part of our lives. FPS, thank you for loving me, thank you for loving my family and thank you for loving kids the way you do every day.”

On that same social media post, Byrd shared that exactly 20 years prior to her July 1 start date at A.L. Lotts. She and her husband, Russell Byrd, had moved into a subdivision “directly across the street.

“I am excited to be a Lotts Leopard again,” she added.

Before coming to Knox County, Byrd taught at Houston Academy, in Dothan, Alabama, and Northside Elementary, in Panama City, Florida.

White new principal

White joined Knox County Schools in 1993 as a teacher at Chilhowee Intermediate School. She also taught at Karns Intermediate School and Hardin Valley Elementary.

In 2013, she was appointed as an assistant principal at Gibbs Elementary, and in 2015 she was named an assistant principal at Blue Grass Elementary.

In 2016, she was appointed principal at Sterchi Elementary, where she served until being appointed to FPS.

White holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tennessee Tech and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“In addition to having spent my entire career as an educator with Knox County Schools, I’m also an alumnae of KCS, having attended the Cedar Bluff Schools and graduated from Farragut High School,” White said. “I’m very excited to meet and serve the staff, students, and families of the Farragut Primary community. 

“It is a wonderful group of students and families. ...”