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Administrative Appointments Announced in May 2022

May 19, 2022

The following administrative appointments were announced on May 24, 2022.

Kenwood Middle School Assistant Principal

Denika Rucker has been selected as an assistant principal at Kenwood Middle School. She currently serves as an assistant principal at H.G. Hill Middle School in Nashville. Previously, she has served as a Dean of Students, school counselor, and clinical therapist. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at Volunteer State Community College. Rucker is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change at Lipscomb University. She earned her Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership from Union University and both her M.S. in Guidance and Counseling and B.S. in Psychology from Tennessee State University.

Hazelwood Elementary School Assistant Principal

Barbara Denhart has been selected as an assistant principal at Hazelwood Elementary School. She currently serves as an Intervention Coordinator at Barkers Mill Elementary School. She began her career in CMCSS in 1996 and has served at Kenwood, Ringgold, and West Creek elementary schools during her tenure as a K-2 teacher, special education and extended resource teacher, Academic Coach, and Multi-Classroom Leader for Special Populations. Denhart earned her Educational Leadership and Special Education K-12 endorsements at UT Martin, M.A. in Education from Cumberland University, and B.S. in Education from Murray State University. She completed the CMCSS Aspiring Administrator’s Academy, McREL Balanced Leadership training, and the CMCSS Introduction to Leadership Course.

Rossview Elementary School Assistant Principal

Julie Amstutz has been selected as an assistant principal at Rossview Elementary School. She currently serves as an RTI/Data Coach at Rossview Middle School. Previously, she has served as an assistant principal and academic coach for CMCSS, instructional specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education, school data analyst in New York, and instructional leader and teacher in various capacities during her career in education. Amstutz earned her Educational Leadership Endorsement from UT Martin, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Trevecca Nazarene University, B.S. in elementary education from Middle Tennessee State University, and A.S. in psychology and sociology from Columbia State. She completed the CMCSS Aspiring Administrator’s Academy, McREL Balanced Leadership training, the CMCSS Introduction to Leadership Course, and has served on the district’s STEM Leadership Team.

Woodlawn Elementary School Assistant Principal

Pamela Johnson has been selected as an assistant principal at Woodlawn Elementary School. She has served as the Academic Coach at Woodlawn since 2011. She began her career in CMCSS in 1994 and has served as a teacher at Liberty and East Montgomery elementary schools. She earned the Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award in 2003, 2004, and 2015; Green Apple Award in 1996; Teacher of the Year nomination in 2004; and Sallie Mae First Class Teacher Award in 1995. She earned her Educational Leadership Endorsement at UT Martin, M.S. in Education from Walden University, and B.S. in Education from Ball State University. She completed the CMCSS Aspiring Administrator’s Academy and CMCSS Leadership Academy.

The following administrative appointments were announced on May 19, 2022.

Kirkwood High School Principal

Jessica Peppard has been selected as the principal of Kirkwood High School, beginning July 2022. Peppard has served as the principal of Northwest High School since 2019. Previously, she has served as an assistant principal, academy administrator, and athletic director at Northwest High School; an academic coach at Northeast and Northwest high schools; and English teacher at Northwest and West Creek high schools. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change at Lipscomb University. She earned her M.S. in Educational Leadership and B.S. in English at Austin Peay State University.

Kirkwood High School is scheduled to open in August 2023. Over the next year, Peppard will be responsible for many critical functions to ensure Kirkwood High is prepared to welcome students for the 2023-2024 school year.

Middle College at APSU Principal

Dr. Phyllis Casebolt has been selected as the principal of Middle College at APSU, replacing Dr. Theresa Muckleroy who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Dr. Casebolt currently serves as the Director of Federal Programs. She has been with CMCSS for over 30 years, previously serving as the Director of Educator Quality; principal at both Clarksville High and West Creek Middle schools; assistant principal at Rossview High; and teacher at Ringgold Elementary, Richview Middle and Moore Magnet Elementary schools. She also has teaching experience at Thackston Elementary School in Knoxville. She has been an adviser and reader for doctoral students at Trevecca Nazarene University. She earned her Ed.D. in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University, M.A. in education from Austin Peay State University, where she also completed undergraduate work, and her B.S. from Minot State University in North Dakota.

Northwest High School Principal

Brandi Blackley has been selected as the principal of Northwest High School, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. Blackley currently serves as an assistant principal at Kenwood High School. Previously, she has served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction 9-12 and as an assistant principal at Northwest High School. Before beginning her career with CMCSS in 2017, she was an assistant principal at Covington High and Brighton Middle schools and had served in instructional support roles in Shelby and Tipton counties. Additionally, Blackley has 18 years of teaching experience in schools in Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Over her 25-year career in education, she has served on numerous school-, district-, and state-level curriculum, assessment, and professional-learning committees. She earned her master’s in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University and B.A. in English from Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.

Barkers Mill Elementary School Assistant Principal

Patrice Collins has been selected as an assistant principal at Barkers Mill Elementary School. Collins is currently an assistant principal at West Creek Middle School. Previously, she served as a teacher at Northeast High School, teaching courses in ACT Prep and Criminal Justice. Other education experience includes serving as a fourth-grade teacher, college counselor, collaborative teacher, and substitute teacher. Before entering public education, she had roles as a Project Coordinator and Program Director for civic organizations and was a Staff Attorney for Circuit Courts in Kentucky. She served in the U.S. Army for three years active duty and six years reserve. She earned her M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, J.D. from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and B.S. in Organizational Management and Human Resources from Colorado Christian University. She received her School Administration Certification from Western Kentucky University.

Rossview High School Assistant Principal

Dr. W. Riley Braem has been selected as an assistant principal at Rossview High School. Dr. Braem currently serves as the Director of Theatre at Northwest High School. He has served as the CMCSS Theatre Arts Lead Teacher since 2016 and has worked in other school and district leadership roles. Previously, he served as a high school special education teacher and an instructor of theatre at APSU, MTSU, UT Martin, and ASU. He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Austin Peay State University, an M.F.A. in Theatre for Young Audiences from Arizona State University, a Certificate in Theatre for Young Audiences for Youth with Complex Disabilities from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in the UK, and an MAT in Secondary Education and B.S. in Theatre from Austin Peay State University.

New Providence Middle School Assistant Principal/Teacher Split Position

Megan Groene has been selected to serve in an assistant principal/teacher split position at New Providence Middle School. Groene has served as a teacher at New Providence Middle since 2019 and previously taught for four years at Minglewood Elementary School. Additionally, she has served in several school- and district-level leadership roles. She has twice earned the Teacher of the Year designation and has earned both the Distinguished Educator Award and Green Apple Award. She completed the CMCSS Leadership Series and the CMCSS Aspiring Administrators Academy. Groene earned both her Ed.S. in Reading and M.S. in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University and her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa.

The following administrative appointments were announced on May 10, 2022.

Byrns Darden Elementary School Principal

Christie Irwin has been selected as the principal of Byrns Darden Elementary School. She has served as an assistant principal at Woodlawn Elementary School since 2015. Previously, she served as an academic coach at Pisgah Elementary School and a school in Texas and as a teacher at Kenwood Elementary School, beginning her career in public education in 2003. She received Teacher of the Year distinctions in 2006, 2007, and 2008 and the Distinguished Classroom Teacher award in 2014.

Irwin earned her Certificate in Leadership K-12 from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, M.A. Ed. in Elementary Education from Cumberland University, and B.S. in Elementary Education from Austin Peay State University.

Rossview Elementary School Principal

Frances Ann Camp has been selected as the principal of Rossview Elementary School, replacing Madeline Haller who will be retiring at the end of this school year. With 17 years of experience in school administration, Camp currently serves as an assistant principal at Rossview Elementary School and has served as an assistant principal at Barkers Mill Elementary School. She has ten years of experience as a teacher at Hazelwood Elementary and has also served for a year as a substitute teacher.

Camp earned her M.A. Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University and B.S. in Elementary Education from Austin Peay State University. She completed the CMCSS Leadership Series and the CMCSS Aspiring Administrators Academy.

East Montgomery Elementary School Assistant Principal

Whitney Kogut has been selected as the assistant principal at East Montgomery Elementary School, replacing Bonnie Digby who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Kogut currently serves as an academic coach at East Montgomery Elementary and previously served as a teacher at the school, beginning her career in public education in 2010. She has served as a Site-Based Induction Specialist and in several school-level leadership roles.

Kogut earned her M.A. Ed. in Educational Leadership, M.A. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and B.S. in Elementary Education from Austin Peay State University.

West Creek Elementary School Assistant Principal

Shawn Nelson has been selected as an assistant principal at West Creek Elementary School. He currently serves as a Leadership Resident, gaining administrative experience at both Glenellen Elementary and Barkers Mill Elementary schools. Previous experience includes serving as an academic coach at Minglewood Elementary School, academic coach and teacher at Byrns Darden Elementary School, and teacher at Hazelwood Elementary School, beginning his career in public education in 2012. He won the Distinguished Educator Green Apple Award and was named Teacher of the Year in 2018.

Nelson earned his M.A. Ed. in Educational Leadership and B.S. in Elementary Education from Austin Peay State University.