Johnson City School System names three new principals for 2018-19

Donna Morgan

Donna Morgan

The Johnson City School System named three new principals last week.

Superintendent of schools Dr. Steve Barnett announced last Thursday morning that Dr. Donna Morgan has been named the new principal for Liberty Bell Middle School. The day before, the system introduced Carolyn “Renee” Wood as the new principal at Lake Ridge Elementary and Richard Hutson as the new principal at Cherokee Elementary.

Morgan replaces Tammy Pearce, who will join Johnson City Schools’ Central Office as Supervisor of Student Services. Pearce will step into her new role as Cindy Lawson is retiring after years of service to Johnson City Schools.

“We are very appreciative of Cindy’s service to our system and we wish her the best in her retirement,” Barnett said. “We are thrilled to add Tammy’s expertise and knowledge to our central office staff. I am also very confident that Dr. Morgan will be able to build on the foundation that Tammy has left at Liberty Bell.”

Morgan is currently in her 20th year in the Johnson City School System and has served the last seven years as an assistant principal at Indian Trail. Morgan taught English Language Arts for 10 years at the school, before becoming a curriculum coach for the district and then later stepping into administration.

“I am humbled to be selected as the new principal of Liberty Bell Middle School,” Morgan said. “I appreciate the confidence of Dr. Barnett and our Central Office.  It is an exciting time for Johnson City Schools.  I am eager for this new opportunity to work with a great faculty at Liberty Bell.”

Carolyn "Renee" Wood

Carolyn “Renee” Wood

Meanwhile, Wood will take over at Lake Ridge for John Phillips, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Hutson comes to Cherokee Elementary after serving as the supervisor of the elementary schools in Hawkins County since 2014.

“We are very excited for Renee and Richard to take over as principals in our district,” Johnson City Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Barnett said. “We were very fortunate to have a very talented applicant pool and we look forward to the addition of Richard’s and Renee’s leadership for Johnson City Schools.”

Wood has served as assistant principal at Lake Ridge during the 2017-2018 school year. She holds a Bachelor of General Studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Education from Milligan College and Educational Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.

“It brings me great joy to be named the next principal at Lake Ridge,” Wood said. “I have spent the last year getting to know the students, family and faculty here and I look forward to working with them to continue to make Lake Ridge a great school.”

Hutson served as principal for Church Hill Elementary School from 2007-2014. He earned his undergraduate in Biology from East Tennessee State University in 1999 and his Master of Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial in 2005, before finishing his Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2006.

Richard Hutson

Richard Hutson

“I am extremely honored to be selected as the new principal at Cherokee Elementary School,” Hutson said. “Johnson City Schools have a strong educational history and Cherokee Elementary has played a vital role in creating that history. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the Cherokee Elementary faculty, staff, and community to create rich educational experiences for our students.”


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