It’s back to school time, and some teachers and students will be welcomed by new faces — and some familiar faces in new roles.

New principals have been named at Pleasant Hill and Pine View elementary schools, and other administrative positions are being filled by some Cumberland County veteran educators. 

“We’re excited to get this year underway,” Director of Schools Janet Graham told the Cumberland County Board of Education last week. 

Tammy Knipp will lead Pleasant Hill Elementary. She most recently worked with the Tennessee Department of Education. She has also served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. 

“Dr. Knipp comes with a multitude of experiences that will be beneficial to the Pleasant Hill community and school,” said Graham in an email last week to faculty and staff.

Joining Knipp as the assistant principal is Traci Buckner, who previously taught at the school.

“Her most recent experience as an assistant principal at Brown Elementary will allow this duo to hit the ground running,” Graham said.

Former assistant principal Abbie Dunford moved to Stone Memorial High School as an assistant principal for new principal Kelli Smith. 

Kara Spicer was named the new principal at Pine View Elementary, where she has served as a teacher and assistant principal in the past.

Angela Randolph accepted a new position in the federal programs department as English as a Second Language supervisor and instructional facilitator. 

Graham said interviews are ongoing for the Brown Elementary assistant principal position. 

Graham also told the Chronicle Kim Herring, a teacher at Cumberland County High School, will be moving to Central Services to resume her former position as the student information systems administrator.

The school board approved the job description for student information systems administrator during the July meeting. Graham and administrators had sought a change in who the position reported to, placing the position under the supervision of the attendance supervisor. 

Board members last month questioned the qualifications for the position. Though the posting included a list of computer skills and expertise necessary for the role, several board members wanted to specify the education necessary. The job description requires a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification. 

“I have a list of a million other things this person does,” Graham said.

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, moved to approve the job description, supported by Rob Safdie, 2nd District representative.

Tony Brock, 5th District representative, asked how the person would be paid.

Graham explained the position is paid on the certified staff scale, which established pay for personnel based on their years of experience and educational attainment. 

The job description was unanimously approved. 

The board also approved its meeting dates for the 2019-’20 school year. The board meets the fourth Thursday of each month except in November and December when they hold a combined meeting Dec. 5. The March meeting will also move up one week to March 19 due to a conflict with spring break. 

In other business, the board approved an agreement to offer a coordinated school health program with a $100,000 state grant.

It also approved a consultation agreement with Plateau Pediatrics to assist the school nurses and review related health policies, protocols and standing medical orders, as needed. BOE Attorney Earl Patton was tasked with ensuring the agreement was sufficient or if the school system needed a contract. 

Patton said, “It lists the doctor’s responsibilities and what the school system would seek advice for. I don’t see a problem approving this.”

The school system also agreed to administer the school nutrition program, which allows it to receive federal funds to offer a breakfast and lunch program in schools. 





Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at