New challenge ahead for Derbyshire at St. John Neumann

As St. John Neumann Catholic School celebrates 25 years in operation, principal Bill Derbyshire is stepping into a new role after the 2022-23 academic year, when he will serve both the church and the school.

Beginning next summer, Derbyshire will lead a strategic planning process for the parish and school, as well as assist Pastor Joe Reed in addressing some special projects. Derbyshire will continue to serve as principal through the end of this academic year.

The planning “will be everything from infrastructure, possible new construction if it’s ever needed, looking at growth of the parish using Town of Farragut numbers to look at growth — anything strategic planning- related, I will oversee,” Derbyshire said. “There will probably be a committee to help.”

SJN will be hiring a new principal in the summer.

“For well over half of those (25) years, Mr. Bill Derbyshire has served the school with professionalism, good sense, collegiality and — most importantly — with genuine fatherly care,” Reed stated in a press release.

This is Derbyshire’s 14th school year with SJN Catholic School.

“I’ll miss the students and the faculty, but it provides me with a new and exciting challenge that, in a prior life where I was in the business world and was a controller of hotels, to tap some of that experience,” he said. “It will be exciting and challenging.

“I will still be part of the parish and see all the faculty and staff, but that interaction I will miss,” he added.

“Bill brings to the table not only years of experience as a principal, a teacher and a parishioner, but also a previous career working in hotel management and finance,” Reed stated.

“As the parish approaches its 50th anniversary in 2027, and with recent growth in both the parish and the school, it is time to map out the next several years in a strategic, deliberate and hopeful process,” he added. “I have no doubt that Bill will continue to serve SJN well in this new role.

“Making this announcement now allows us the opportunity to begin the search for a new principal in the weeks ahead, Please pray prayers of thanksgiving for Bill’s years of service, both the years he has given and those he will give… and let him know your gratitude.”

Emphasizing the value of prayer, “Pray for whomever our new principal will be, for all applicants and for our search committee — that all of us will be attentive to the Holy Spirit as we meet each other and discern who can best serve our school community,” Reed said.

“And be proud — in a good humble way, of course — of all the good that we have to share with whomever is called to be our new principal,” he added.