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Craze takes the helm of Farragut Primary

Farragut Primary School students and parents will be greeted with a new face this August when the school year begins.

Julia Craze has been appointed as the new principal of FPS, replacing Emily Lenn who has been assigned as principal at A.L. Lotts Elementary.

“I am really excited about this position,” Craze said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Craze was born in Huntsville, Ala., and graduated from the University of Alabama. Her husband, Steve, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She said that things get exciting around their house during football season with the UT/Alabama football rivalry.

“I actually have more orange in my wardrobe now, but when UT plays Alabama, I pull out the crimson,” she said.

Craze and her husband moved to Knoxville in 1984. She said that initially they lived in two separate towns and commuted in order to see each other.

“I am very passionate about my career and the school children and I told my husband that I would not move until the school year ended.” Craze said. “Of course he understood.”

While in Huntsville, Craze was a principal as well as a teacher.

“I was one of two female principals in the Huntsville school system,” she said.

After moving to Knoxville, Craze was a substitute teacher for Knox County until she was offered a permanent position as a fifth-grade teacher at Farragut Intermediate School.

“I saw Dr. Robert Frazier’s name on my niece’s report card and thought that the name sounded familiar,” Craze said.

As it turned out, Craze and Frazier had lived on the same street as children growing up in Huntsville.

She said, “Of course, I called him Bobby back then.”

Craze taught fifth grade at FIS for eight years until she was appointed to curriculum generalist for Knox County.

“As curriculum generalist, I was assigned to several schools. I would travel to each school and help with implementation of curriculum, staff development and student assessment among other tasks,” Craze said. “This job was a wonderful opportunity that allowed me to meet so many people from the different schools.”

In 1999, Craze was appointed to assistant principal of FIS. This position lasted only one year when she was promoted to principal of Mount Olive Elementary School in South Knoxville.

“A funny memory that I have from that time is Sarah Simpson asking me if I knew where Mount Olive was, and I had no idea,” Craze said. “She told me that I had better get in my car and find it then.”

Craze has some very fond memories of Mount Olive and said that she was glad that she got to spend the time in South Knoxville.

“It is very interesting to me to see the differences in the communities,” she said. “Each one is unique and very special.”

Craze will have about 42 staff members and about 800 students at FPS. Lenn made a few staff changes before the school year ended and Craze said that she “trusts Emily’s judgement completely,” and that the staff changes will remain the same.

Craze said that she loves all of the children that she has taught over the years, but she is especially fond of the little ones.

“I find myself walking down the halls and peeking in on the little ones,” she said. “They get so excited when they see the principal and that really makes me smile.”

Craze will officially start at FPS on Monday, Aug. 2, and the staff will join her on Monday, Aug. 9. She said that she is excited about getting back into the schools in Farragut and invites parents and students to introduce themselves to her at the start of the new school year.

“I had a chance to greet many families at the Fourth of July Parade, and I look forward to more of the same,” Craze said.


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