Clint Mays, a teacher at Knox County Middle School, has been selected as the next leader of Girdler Elementary School.
The selection came Friday morning, June 18, as the school’s SBDM council held a special meeting and voted unanimously to offer him the position of school principal.
“It’s a very humbling moment when you get that call from the committee,” said Mays after receiving the offer. “I felt honored to have that trust placed in me.”
Mays’ tenure in the Knox County Public Schools stretches twenty years and many different roles.
“I have taught 5-8 grade Language Arts, social studies, and served as the RTI Behavioral instructor at Knox County Middle, as well as coached various schools and sports,” shared Mays about his prior experiences. Those experiences have provided valuable opportunities that he feels will beneficial as he steps into the principal role. “I’ve sat on committees that have drafted comprehensive school improvement plans, school safety initiatives, and positive behavioral goals.”
He was quick to point out that his own success has come from surrounding himself with great administration.
“Marion Sowders, Kelly Sprinkles, and Jeremy Ledford, along with assistant principals Stacy Imel, Linda Fortney, and Sheila Terrell. Each of them have given me different tools that I plan on using as we get the children of Girdler elementary back to the high levels we know they can reach.”
Mays said that working with the school community he wants to foster a culture of learning and teamwork. He wants all stakeholders to realize that we have to work together to achieve what we want for Girdler Elementary.
What does it mean to be a Girdler Tiger? Mays’ vision for the school is a simple one. Teamwork Inspires Great, Educated, Responsible Students.
“You’re going to be seeing and hearing this a lot in our school and from our students in the days and months to come.”
Mays feels that he is coming into a school community that wants what is best for their child and is willing to be a partner in making sure that happens.
“We want them to play a vital role in the educational outcome of their children,” said Mays. “Our staff at Girdler Elementary will be the best staff in the district. We expect children to be first and to always focus on what’s best for them. ”
Fulfilling the principal role following a national pandemic will be the first major challenge that Mays faces as he prepares for school to resume in August.
“Our goals are to help our students to reclaim the educational experience that they deserve,” stated Mays. “Children in the building will always be the best environment to foster learning. Small groups will be utilized to bridge the gap that COVID-19 has put in place.”
Bridging the gap and providing opportunities for intervention and enrichment are key to continued success at the school according to Mays.
“Girdler Elementary has a long-standing tradition of excellence in and out of the classroom and I can’t wait to continue that and see where we go as we start the new year.”