Barnhill selected as new principal at Dewitt Elementary

William Brian BarnhillThere will be a new face and roar among the Dewitt Elementary Lions when school resumes this fall.

William Brian Barnhill has been selected as the new principal at Dewitt.  He comes to the school from Knox Central, where he was a chemistry and dual credit teacher.

“What an honor to have been selected to serve as the next principal of Dewitt Elementary,” Barnhill said following his selection.

“Living close by, I have interacted with some of the children and families of this community through activities and events with my church. I am eager to begin mentoring these students educationally, as well.”

Barnhill states that he wants Dewitt to be known as a great place for children to thrive, accomplish, and enjoy learning.  The community will play a large role in achieving that.

“My vision for Dewitt Elementary is to continue to work hard to build a sense of community with our school by creating open, positive relationships with staff, families, and community partners and by fostering a safe, motivational, and caring environment for our students.

“By continuing to build our school community, we can work together as a team to enable all of our students to be successful and achieve their academic goals. #LIONPRIDE,” said Barnhill.

With several vacancies posted at the school, Barnhill sees this as an opportunity to recruit and build relationships that will help students succeed.  He hopes to have those filled by early July so that staff can have plenty of time to prepare for the school year ahead.

“My key priority is to begin building essential relationships. I hope to begin building relationships with the staff, familiar and new, reach out and meet more of the community, and become a familiar face to our students. I strongly feel these relationships are so important and one of my areas of strength. By working together, we can be successful for our students.”

While it may be several weeks before Barnhill and new staff members get to meet the students, he has a message that he wants to share with them.

I want my current and future students to know that my students will always be my top priority.  I want them to walk into the school and feel safe, confident, accepted, and motivated to work hard and achieve their individual goals.  The students will be at the center of every decision made, always keeping their best interest at heart.”

Barnhill also has a message for current families and the community, continuing to emphasize the importance of their role in the education of Dewitt students.

“I hope our current and future families and the Dewitt community know that as a parent that has watched each of my own children progress through and graduate from Knox County Public Schools, I understand what an important responsibility it truly is to provide a safe and nurturing place for our students to grow and learn. It is my goal and promise to ensure that each child within our school is presented with every resource possible to ensure their own path to success.”

While he will be working with stakeholders to set goals and cast a vision for Dewitt Elementary, he already has some in mind that he is ready to start working towards achieving.

“I know that we are looking at a year of hard work and effort and I am ready to begin that right now. This year will be one that as a school, we learn and grow stronger together. By involving all school stakeholders, we can set expectations and help our kids meet those expectations. I hope at the end of this year, we have built strong relationships, continued to work as a team for our students, and that not only will our student achievement increase, but our sense of community and pride for our school will also.”

He concluded by saying, “I am expecting great things for Dewitt Elementary, and I’m thankful to be a part of this new and exciting opportunity and eager to see what we can accomplish together!”

Get to Know Mr. Barnhill 

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Union College in Chemistry, with a Math and Physics Minor. I have an additional Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky with an additional 30 hours of graduate credits in Chemistry from UK. I have a Masters of Arts in teaching from the University of the Cumberlands, and a Rank I in Instructional Leader/Principalship, also from the University of the Cumberlands.

Family photograph of Brian Barnhill

I am so proud of the family I have been blessed with. I am married to Courtney Barnhill, a Curriculum Coach at G.R. Hampton Elementary. We live in Flat Lick and attend Turkey Creek Baptist church where we teach the Pairs and Spares Young Adult Sunday School Class, and are the directors for our Awana Youth Program. We love to travel and see new places and try new adventures. We are very proud of all five of our children. Peyton Barnhill is a Social Studies teacher at Knox County Middle School and is married to Taylon Barnhill, an English teacher at Knox Central High School. Libby Vaughn is in her third year of graduate school and completing her clinical rotations at LMU, earning her degree as Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Hallea Barnhill just completed her first year of Dental School at the University of Kentucky and is engaged to be married this July to Brayden Imel. Brayden just graduated from Cumberland College in January as a Physician’s Assistant. Cameron Vaughn is currently in ATP Pilot School in Indiana, studying and flying to become a Commercial Airline Pilot. Last but not least, Hannah Barnhill just finished her first year of college at LMU.