published Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Chattanooga's Howard School principal confident in successor Zac Brown

 Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and newly appointed Public Safety Coordinator Paul David Smith speak about the new position while at Hope For The Inner City in East Chattanooga on Friday. Smith, the former Howard High School principal, has just been appointed to lead the city's anti-gang/crime efforts.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and newly appointed Public Safety Coordinator Paul David Smith speak about the new position while at Hope For The Inner City in East Chattanooga on Friday. Smith, the former Howard High School principal, has just been appointed to lead the city's anti-gang/crime efforts.
Photo by Dan Henry.

Howard School Principal Paul Smith is confident that Chattanooga's oldest school will be in good hands when East Ridge High Principal Zac Brown takes over in the fall.

Smith is leaving after six years at the school to work as Chattanooga's public safety coordinator, a new position created by Mayor Andy Berke. But unlike when he took over at Howard as a novice principal six years ago, Smith said his successor will enter Howard with more experience. He'll know how to run a school, balance a budget and manage personnel.

"He's coming in and he already knows how to be an administrator. I think that's great for him," Smith said. "When I came in I had no idea how to be an administrator. I got hired two weeks before the faculty showed up."

Brown has been East Ridge's principal since 2010. He formerly worked as an assistant principal at Hixson High School and as a teacher in Rhea County, Tenn.

Brown could not be reached for comment Monday.

Tamara Helton, currently an assistant principal at East Ridge, will become principal at that school, Superintendent Rick Smith announced Monday.

Mark Smith, an assistant principal at Howard School, will become the principal at Tyner Middle Academy. And Samantha Walter, assistant principal at Daisy Elementary, will become principal there.

In all, about a dozen Hamilton County schools will be under new leadership next year after retirements, promotions and transfers of several principals.

Contact staff writer Kevin Hardy at khardy@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6249.

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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