Ooltewah High School principal reassigned to new school

The exterior of Ooltewah High School photographed on Sunday, January 31, 2016. (Staff photo by Maura Friedman)
photo Donna Horn

*The full list of assistant principal assignments: align=

Battle Academy: Jesse GoinsBess T. Shepherd Elementary: Bryan StewartBrown Middle School: Matt ThurmanDaisy Elementary: Danielle ReedEast Brainerd Elementary: Lee ZieglerEast Hamilton School: Jim JarvisEast Ridge Elementary: Juan MorenoHixson High School: Matt TaylorHunter Middle School: Bethanie ReynoldsMiddle Valley Elementary: Jill EvansOoltewah Elementary: Sarah LaneOoltewah High School: Brad JacksonOoltewah High School: Lesa JohnsonOrchard Knob Middle School: Carl Knight, Jr.Red Bank High School: Michael SmithRed Bank High School: Wendell WeathersSnow Hill Elementary: Kim PringleSoddy Daisy High School: Karyn CoxSoddy Daisy High School: Travis MillerThe Howard School: Ron DavisTyner Middle Academy: Sylvester CarringtonWallace A. Smith Elementary: Lindsey HaganWestview Elementary: Deborah Caudle

For six tumultuous months, Ooltewah High School Principal Jim Jarvis has continued to lead the school after the rape of a freshman basketball player, allegedly by three of his teammates.

But Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly announced Friday he has reassigned Jarvis to East Hamilton Middle/High, where he will serve as an assistant principal for the upcoming school year.

Since news began to surface of the rape just days after Christmas, people across the county have been asking for Jarvis to step down or be fired from his post. Kelly declined to comment Friday evening about why he chose to reassign Jarvis.

School board member Steve Highlander, who represents Ooltewah, said he wished Kelly had waited to move Jarvis until after the investigation into what happened is concluded and more facts are known.

"I always feel that it is better we have all the facts before we make a move," Highlander said.

He continued to say that he has a great deal of respect for both Jarvis and his replacement, Robin Copp, principal at Signal Mountain Middle/High.

"I want what's best for Ooltewah High School and what's best for both of them," Highlander said.

School board member Donna Horn, who represents East Hamilton, said Kelly has made several administrative changes this week that will have a significant impact on the operation of many schools.

"As the superintendent, Dr. Kelly has that authority, but I am anxious to know the rationale behind many of his decisions," she said.

Horn declined to specifically comment on Jarvis' reassignment into her district.

Also on Friday, Kelly announced the new assignment of 22 other assistant principals to schools across the county.

"Strong leadership teams in every school are crucial to success, and assistant principals are a critical factor in this equation," Kelly said in a statement. "We are confident that these teams will accelerate student learning throughout our district."

Outgoing East Hamilton Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Brad Jackson move to Ooltewah High School to serve as an assistant principal. Lesa Johnson, who works in the district's human resources department as the recruitment coordinator, will also be an assistant principal at Ooltewah.

Bryan Stewart, outgoing principal of East Brainerd Elementary, is moving to the role of assistant principal at Bess T. Shepherd Elementary.

On Friday, Horn praised Stewart's accomplishments leading East Brainerd Elementary.

"Dr. Bryan Stewart has served East Brainerd Elementary with many obstacles, one being having the school split between two campuses for quite some time," she said. "He will be a valuable asset to his new school assignment."

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at 423-757-6592 or kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com. Follow on Twitter @kendi_and.

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