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A.L. Lotts welcomes new principals
Susan Turner and Alicia Hinton begin a new year at new schools

A.L. Lotts Elementary is changing up its administration as new principal Susan Turner, and new assistant principal Alicia Hinton, are added to the mix.

Both of them are ready and waiting to start their new jobs and, even more so, to meet their new students.

“It doesn’t feel like I’m really back as principal until the kids come, because the school is just a very sad, quiet place over the summer,” Turner said with a laugh. “There is none of the beautiful student work in the hallways, none of the hustle and bustle of students moving around the building. I’m anxious for them to come back, so it really feels like a school.

“The students change everything,” Hinton added. “It’s not real yet until the teachers and students get back.”

Amid the paperwork and repainting going on at A.L. Lotts, the students are at the top of both women’s minds. They both seem as excited and anxious as some of their students to get the school year rolling.

Turner is by far the veteran of the two. She had been principal at Ball Camp Elementary since February 2007, and an educator in Knox County for 21 years. Before Ball Camp, she was principal at Brickey-McCloud and Rocky Hill Elementary schools, and in 2007 became a Parent Mentor for Knox County Central Office. She began her career teaching sixth-grade social studies in 1980 at Cedar Bluff Middle School, but took a break in 1983 to become a stay-at-home mom. She returned to Cedar Bluff to teach seventh grade in 1990 and hasn’t stopped since.

A.L. Lotts will be the largest school that she has worked for, with a little more than 1,200 students.

“It’s a beautiful facility, and it’s known for an outstanding staff, so I feel very privileged to get to be here,” Turner said of her new school, which was spruced up this summer with its first repainting in since it opened in 1994.

For Hinton, A.L. Lotts will be her first experience as a principal. But what she lacks in Turner’s administrative experience, she makes up for in drive and enthusiasm.

“Before I even started down an education path in college, I knew I wanted to do some type of leadership position in whatever field that I took,” Hinton said.

“As I went through the field of education, I realized what an effect a strong leader has on a school, and that eventually I would like to be able to motivate teachers from an administrative position.

“I really feel like a strong leader can affect a school for the positive, and get teacher moral, student moral and a community really behind the students and support them,” she added.

Hinton began teaching third grade and fourth grade at New Hopewell Elementary in 2003. She then transferred to Brickey-McCloud in 2007, where she continued to teach the third grade.

“This opportunity has been wonderful for me and I’m thrilled to be joining the staff here working with Mrs. Turner,” Hinton said. “It’s exciting to start a new position at such a great school in a great community.”

Turner and Hinton officially started at A.L. Lotts on July 23, but with school out of session, they have only got to meet a few of the most important people there: the students.

There are no plans yet for the upcoming school year, since meetings with the faculty are yet to come.

Turner is planning on having the school’s security company come out to make sure everything is up and running for the coming year, and possibly to add more cameras as a new playground has been built since the cameras were first installed.

A.L. Lotts finally will come alive Aug. 17, the first day of school.


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