Chatter 20 Under 40: Jesse Goins

Chatter 20 Under 40: Jesse Goins

June 28th, 2018 by Compiled by Jennifer Bardoner in Chatter

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Jesse Goins

Jesse Goins

Photo by Casey Yoshida of Southside Creative


Proud principal of Battle Academy (and one of the youngest principals in Hamilton County); PEF Leadership Fellow, Cohort 15; PEF Policy Fellow, Inaugural Cohort; PEF Principal Leadership Academy, Cohort 8.

What is your anthem or theme song?

"Best Day of my Life," by American Authors.

If you were a musician, what would your stage or band name be?

Jesse and The Rippers. Wait

If you were starting a band, who from your life would you pick to be in it and why?

The folks who are behind me every day who make everything possible: Andi, Jake, Molly, Kelly, Annika and Ashley. I couldn't — and wouldn't — do life or work without them, so they'll always be in my band.

Which member of the band would you be?

Lead singer. Or groupie.

If you achieved rock star status, what would you hope it would be for?

My musical ability will never make me a star. I'd certainly love to be a local celebrity for being a servant leader at a world-class school where teachers are amazing and students thrive; where parents are partners and every child knows they are loved. Worldwide fame? A career in television and books centered around my other loves: home, food, design and entertaining.

Random green room demand?

Pickled okra. Hey, you said "random."

Who are your top influencers (not necessarily musically)?

My family in general [especially] my grandparents. Of the three I have known, I still have one. She is loving, caring, sweet, and strong in her faith. My grandfather was a calm gentleman with a sense of humor. He was also a principal. My other grandmother was an outspoken handful with no filter. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. I like to think I have some of each of them in me. And I'm so lucky to have a wonderful mom, aunts, uncles, brothers, in-laws.

Also, the amazing leaders I have worked with and for in Hamilton County.

Which musical style best describes your personality?

I can only say eclectic. My playlist goes from Bruno Mars to Dolly Parton, the "Civil War" soundtrack to Kanye, the Gaithers to John Prine. I love it all.

Who would write the soundtrack to your life and why?

As much as I'd like to say Billy Joel or Sting, or even George Gershwin or Cole Porter, Lord knows it would probably be Ray Stevens.

First album you bought for yourself?

"Footloose" soundtrack. Duh.

If you could change one thing about Chattanooga, what would it be?

My wife, Andrea, and I moved here in 2007 for her to complete her pediatric residency at Erlanger/TC Thompson. We intended to be here for only four years, then move home to Knoxville. It took us about a year to figure out that Knoxville has nothing on Chattanooga. We fell in love with the city, the friends and our work. The thought of leaving quickly dissolved. That said, as a resident of East Brainerd who works downtown, I can honestly say my only qualm with Chattanooga would be the ridge cut. Well, that and the 24/75 split.

To what cause would you donate the proceeds from your first benefit concert?

That is really hard to answer. Siskin does amazing work. Public Education Foundation has given me so much, I'd like to give back. Of course I'd want my Battle [Academy] kids to benefit. I have witnessed YCAP's impact on young men. And I'd have to contribute to the new Children's Hospital. Hope this concert sells out!