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Farragut Middle gets new principals

Farragut Middle School is welcoming back principal Heather Karnes this fall as well as opening the door for brand new assistant principal Elizabeth Poisel.

Becoming head principal at Farragut Middle is a homecoming for Karnes. She was an assistant principal there from 1999 to 2003 before moving to Bearden Middle School.

I was thrilled when I got the position to be back home, Karnes said. I have a vested interest in children here, who are learning, and we want it to be a great experience for them and I want to see the results of that in the community.

Karnes first started teaching in Nashville in 1970, during the first round of racial integration. She taught for five years until her children came and she chose to be a stay-at-home mother. She returned to teaching in 1984 at Cedar Bluff Intermediate School. Between 1985 and 1999, she taught at Cedar Bluff, Karns and Farragut middle schools until she was made assistant principal at Farragut Middle.

You can come home again, she added.

Now that she is back, she has some big plans for Farragut Middle. She wants the students to get involved in community service and learn about the value of helping others. Shes calling it, All Hands on Deck.

One of my themes for this year is giving back to the community, Karnes said. I want the students at Farragut who have so many resources to learn to give back. I think we have great opportunities to do things for others, and Id like to see us get into that.

A lot of the plans are still in negotiation, but there are several projects in the works during and after school hours, including tutoring sessions for students at Farragut Intermediate.

Poisels goal for making the students appreciate service is to implement a mentoring plan.

We are lucky in that many of the students here at Farragut come from backgrounds that can afford them to do some things that maybe other kids cant do, Poisel said. I want them to experience sharing that with others, being able to kind of give back to their community.

While Poisel only was an assistant principal at A.L. Lotts for a year, it wasnt her first time in administration. She was an assistant principal with Rockwood School District in St. Louis, Mo., from 2001 to 2004. She also taught in St. Louis for six years prior to that and taught in Knox County for a year at Holston Middle School.

I am so excited, Poisel said. I feel like I am a middle school person. I love middle school kids, and I relate to them so well.

Im so excited to be back.

Poisel explained that while she loved being a teacher, she felt the need to do more.

I really felt like there was something more that I wanted to do, Poisel said. I wanted to be able to impact the whole school community, not just my classroom.

So far Poisel is enjoying her new position and community.

The people are so friendly, the community is so positive. Its just a very bonded community. Everyone is just very excited about what we are trying to do here for kids and that makes me excited to be here.

School will be starting Monday, Aug. 17, for Karnes, Poisel and more than 1,300 of their new students.


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