Longtime assistant principal Mike Casteel was named principal at MHS today by schools director Dr. Mike Dalton. Casteel replaces Dr. Ken Jarnagin who announced his retirement in late May.
"While the interview process was arduous and the selection committee was able to interview several highly-qualified individuals, we are especially pleased to place someone in the position of principal who will not only hit the ground running, but who has demonstrated the kind of dedication, enthusiasm and vision we need for Maryville High School," Dalton said in a press release. "On a personal level, I am always pleased to have one of our own step forward and be recognized by both their peers and qualifications to serve in such an important leadership role."
Casteel is a lifelong resident of Blount County and a graduate of Maryville High. He has been on the staff at Maryville High School for the past 15 years and served as assistant principal since 2002. During his tenure as an administrator, he has successfully promoted student community service, developed a new attendance policy, tied parking permits to student attendance, worked on numerous policy changes at both the school and district levels, worked diligently to provide administrative support to alternative educational programs for students with special needs and generally promoted improved communication and relationship building with students and teachers.
Casteel has also worked on the eighth and ninth grade transition team, school improvement team and long-range planning teams all critical components in the growth planning process the high school is currently involved in.
Dalton said Casteel is known among students and in the community for his athletic success at MHS and the University of Tennessee, his coaching experience and in his role as a student disciplinarian.
Dalton said Casteel's experiences in team sports and coaching offer great life skills, especially when dealing with people and motivating others toward new ideas and outstanding performance. His most recent administrative duties included serving as disciplinarian, offering a unique opportunity to work with those students who benefit most from a leader with a genuine concern for students.
Casteels resume also highlights his educational accomplishments. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Arts Education from UT, plus many hours of advanced work. Casteel was also one of the first administrators in the region to successfully complete the national certification exam for principals.
Dalton said Casteel has been recognized and applauded for his drive, vision and determination. It is often noted that his ability to face a problem and see it through to a satisfactory end is his trademark, Dalton said.
With growth, challenges can be anticipated, and Dalton said he was pleased to have a problem solver like Casteel to face those challenges. One selection team member said, "Mr. Casteels fairness, determination and focus on students will, I think, keep us on course and help us transcend our differences."
Dalton said he was impressed with Casteels desire to insure that all students are challenged to reach their full potential. "I believe he will work tirelessly to make Maryville High as successful as possible," Dalton said.