LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Moore County High School is in search of a new principal. That news came via email Monday as Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead posted the job opening on the school system’s website.
Current MCHS principal Buddy Smith has tendered his resignation and will step down at the end of the current school year. Smith has accepted a position with the Hamblin County school system in East Tennessee, reportedly to be closer to his children and his grandchildren.
Smith has been the Moore County High School principal for three years and has been a principal in Moore County for seven years. He was at LES for four years — overseeing much of the school’s expansion project in the process — before taking the principal’s position at Moore County High School.
“He told me for sure last (week), but the announcement wasn’t made in Hamblin County until Friday, so I guess his official announcement was Friday. Obviously Mr. Smith has done a great job in both buildings. I think his single greatest success in the school system has been growing leaders within the school system,” said Moorehead Monday evening, adding that he informed the school board members of Smith’s decision on Friday as well.
“I sent them a text message and an email just prior to Mr. Smith speaking to his staff. The replies that I have received back from them have been pretty much the same … he’s been a great leader here, but they all understand his reason for going.”
Smith took over at MCHS at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, replacing Dan Mooney, who spent a four-year stretch as the principal at the high school before stepping down to take a position as the supervisor of teaching and learning at the central office.
Moorehead’s announcement on Monday continues a principal carousel trend here in Moore County, though that revolving door has been primarily at Lynchburg Elementary School, where Moorehead has been tasked with finding three new principals in as many years.
“I guess I probably should be frustrated that we are looking for a new principal,” said Moorehead, “but I’m not really. Mr. Smith’s move to the high school and opening up that position there at L.E.S., that domino was due to some retirement issues and there was some continuity there, so it wasn’t that bad.
“The way I look at it is that two different people had to come hold the position (at L.E.S.) until we got Melissa (Eslick) ready, but I think we have a really good principal there and I wouldn’t trade her for anybody. And the time Buddy spent at both schools has been good for both schools.”
Moorehead said that Smith approached him following the Thanksgiving break and shared his thoughts about moving to East Tennessee to be close to his daughter, son and grandchildren. After spending 20-plus years in active military service, which often required moving his family with him, the well-respected principal began to think it was time he make a move closer to them.
“It wasn’t about more money and anyone being upset with anyone,” said Moorehead. “He wanted to be close to family and I (understand) that. He’s been in the military and moved his family (a lot). Now that his family is close together, he’d like to move to where they are.
“People come and go. Some people leave too soon, and some, like myself may stay too long. We just have to find the right person and keep the ship pointed in the right direction. We’ll be fine.”
Moorehead said the hiring process will be very similar to what the school system has done at the elementary school the previous three years. By Monday afternoon, he’d already accepted one application.
Anyone interested in the current position should submit applications to Chad Moorehead, Director of Schools at the Moore County Board of Education, P.O. Box 219, Lynchburg, TN 37352. (Physical address: 241 Main Street Suite).
Applications can be obtained on the school system’s website at <www.moorecountyschools.net> or can be completed online at <www.teachers-teachers.com>.
“I will accept applications as long as possible, obviously we don’t want to cut it off and miss out on a great leader, but at some point we’ll have to close it off. My ideal timing would be mid-June so they will be able to start July 1.”
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor & Publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
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