Carpenters Middle School principal Rob Britt is getting a new job.
Monday evening the Blount County School Board unanimously approved Britt as the new schools director. He will replace current schools director Alvin Hord who is retiring at the end of June after more than seven years on the job.
Britt thanked the board for the vote and said he was humbled by the chance. As for his philosophy, Britt said a major part of a successful school is the culture. “It begins with the vision. You begin with the end in mind. What is this that you want to create? I preach this to my teachers all the time. Maximize the academic potential of each child,” he said. “When everybody buys into that vision, that creates that culture for great things to happen.”
Britt started Carpenters Middle School and said it was an honor and privilege to start a school from scratch. “I was in charge of planning the operation of the school and hiring teachers, many of whom have been with me for eight years,” he said. “They built a phenomenal culture where the focus was on educating students. It was a pleasure to watch them work everyday. I’ve developed such a wonderful relationship with that staff.”
Britt acknowledged that one of the challenges he will have will be working with tight budget constraints. “We need to really focus on three primary components: effective teaching, superior learning and building relationships. Do those really, really well and most everything else will take care of itself,” he said.
Britt said one of his priorities is developing the budget for the upcoming year. Britt said he looked forward to working with Hord and the school board to develop the schools spending plan. “I’ve never built an $80 million budget. I’ll work hard to learn all I can,” he said.
The board members voted unanimously in favor of Britt. John Davis made a statement before casting his vote.
“I think we had four excellent candidates, four whom I think were capable of being excellent superintendents,” he said. “It’s a shame we can’t bring them all in as a team.”
Charles Finley said all the candidates had good input. “Each one gave very good suggestions about what Blount County should do,” he said.
Britt thanked the board of education for putting confidence in him to lead the system. “I’m really humbled by this. It is a true honor. I look forward to building a highly functional team and moving us forward,” he said.
Britt thanked his wife Liz and their children. “She and our three children are very supportive. They know it will be a challenge sometimes,” he said.
Britt also recognized his staff at Carpenters Middle School, many of whom were in attendance in anticipation the board would choose Britt. “I want to thank the Carpenters Middle School staff. They came of their own accord, and I am truly humbled,” he said.
Britt has been principal at Carpenters Middle School since January 2001. He was assistant principal at William Blount High School from 1994 to 2000. Prior to that, he was the choral music teacher at William Blount.
Britt received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Shenandoah University and Conservatory of Music. He has a Master of Music from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Education from Lincoln Memorial University.
Britt and his wife, Liz, have three children: Robbie, 16; Rachel, 13; and Reece, 6. All three attend Webb School of Knoxville where Liz is a music teacher.
The other finalists for the position were Dr. Jane Morton, Blount County’s supervisor of grades 6-12; Dr. Steve Moser, coordinator of alternative programs at Everett Learning Opportunity Center; and Dr. B.J. Worthington, chief academic officer for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System in Clarksville.