New positions: Blount residents make career changes

Familiar faces in Blount County will be taking on some new challenges as they move into new career positions. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, a candidate for governor in 2010, has named Maryville native Mark Cate as his campaign manager. New Blount County schools superintendent Rob Britt has announced new administrative leaders at Heritage High, Rockford Elementary and Eagleton Middle.

Cate currently is vice president for facilities management for Knoxville-based real estate development company Lawler-Wood, LLC. Before that, he was with Maryville College for 16 years as chief development officer, chief marketing officer, chief planning officer and then chief financial officer.

Cate served as co-founder of the Blount Education Initiative, was on the Maryville Board of Education and on the boards of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, City of Maryville Public Building Authority and the Maryville City Schools Foundation.

“Mark’s management experience in education and private business makes him ideal for this task,” Haslam said. “I appreciate him and his family making this commitment and look forward to working with him.”

Cate resides in Maryville with his wife, Cathy Pounders Cate, executive director of Leadership Blount, and their two daughters, Bailey and Abbie.

At the same time, Haslam named Jeremy Harrell, who has been coordinating the campaign in its early days as deputy campaign manager and political director.

Harrell was campaign coordinator and political director for U. S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s 2008 campaign. Before that, he directed coalitions for the Tennessee Republican Party’s Victory 2006 effort. He is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Harrell assumes his new role immediately. Cate will transition from Lawler-Wood to the campaign and assume his new duties full-time Sept. 1.

Steve Stout named assistant at Heritage High

Rob Britt, Director of Schools, has named Steve Stout as the assistant principal at Heritage High School replacing Earl McMahan who was named principal at Heritage High School.

Stout, 44, began his educational career with Blount County Schools in 1988. He worked at Montvale Elementary teaching science, social studies, English, and physical education until he transferred to administration in 1999. For the 1999-2000 school year, Stout served as the assistant principal at Friendsville Elementary and Middlesettlements Elementary. When Heritage Middle School opened the 2000-2001 school year, Stout transferred to that school as the first assistant principal. He has remained in that capacity until being named assistant principal at Heritage High for the 2009-2010 school year.

Stout has an athletic background that has served Montvale Elementary, Heritage Middle, and Heritage High. He has coached boys and girls basketball teams for grades 4-8, served as an assistant football coach at Heritage Middle, and has been a part of the coaching staff at Heritage High at various times during his career in the sports of girls track, football, and baseball.

"Steve brings high energy, experience in school administration and a set of strong skills to the leadership team at HHS. He has the advantage of knowing many students and their families from his nine years at Heritage Middle School. I am confident that Steve will do a wonderful job in supporting teachers and serving students and their parents,” said Britt.

McMahan said, “Steve will be an excellent asset to the administrative team at Heritage High. As a graduate of Heritage High and having been a part of the Heritage community for years, he has a vested interest in our school.”

Stout, a 1983 Heritage High graduate, received his bachelor degree in secondary education with a concentration in economics in 1987 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and added the teaching endorsement of elementary education in 1988 from UT. In 1994, Stout received his master’s degree in administration and supervisor and advanced to an educational specialist degree in 1995 from Lincoln Memorial University.

“I’m a Heritage graduate, and I’ve worked with Coach McMahan in coaching and as colleagues at Heritage, so I’m looking forward to continuing that working relationship,” said Stout. “I have a passion for Heritage High School, and I want that passion to be contagious. Our goal is make Heritage High School an even greater school than what it already is -- in math, English, the arts. My former teachers here taught me how to succeed, and the administration supported them in that goal. We want to do the same for this generation. We are going to work hard to do everything we can for the students in this community.”

Stout said former Heritage graduates can be expecting a call from the new team.

“Getting the alumni involved is huge, and we’ve already begun that process -- to reach out to all the alumni of Heritage High School and the Heritage family. We have very successful alums in all aspects of this community -- people who make this county go and move forward. We want and will be seeking their support.”

Leaving Heritage Middle wasn’t easy, Stout said. “The Heritage Middle School staff has been like family to me for nine years and leaving was a hard decision. But I felt like this was the right time for me, and I am still in the Heritage family.”

Stout is married to Susan Stout, advertising executive for Blount Today. They have three children, Maegan, a sophomore at LMU; Haley, a sophomore at William Blount High School; and Anna, sixth-grader at Heritage Middle School.

Carol Chastain named principal at Rockford

Rob Britt, Director of Schools, has named Carol Chastain as the new principal at Rockford Elementary School. Chastain is replacing John Webb who transferred to assistant principal at Carpenters Middle School.

“Carol is full of energy, enthusiasm and personality,” Britt said. “She has an open door policy and leads with a servant’s heart. Carol, who has experience at Rockford, loves the community and looks forward to building relationships with teachers, staff, students and parents. In addition, Carol possesses a strong background in reading and instructional best practices. I am proud of her and her attitude toward serving the Rockford community."

Chastain’s teaching experience lies in grades 2-6. Chastain brings to the new position a strong understanding of the elementary school curriculum and the importance of teaching early literacy skills and recognizing struggling readers, according to school officials. She has provided teacher training on four block literacy and how to help the struggling reader. Also, she has given presentations on Building Children’s Self-esteem and Science Experiments that Work.

Chastain began her educational career in 1981 in Florida. She taught 12 years in Florida and two years in Louisiana before moving to Tennessee. In 1995, Chastain was hired to work in Blount County Schools. During her tenure with the school district, Chastain has worked at Montvale Elementary, Rockford Elementary, Eagleton Elementary, has served as a literacy leader, and assistant principal at Carpenters Elementary.

Chastain received her bachelor degree in elementary education in 1978 from the University of North Florida, Jacksonville. In 2000, Chastain received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and her educational specialist degree in 2005, both from Lincoln Memorial University.

Chastain is honored to be serving the community of Rockford as the principal of Rockford Elementary.

Stone selected to lead Eagleton Middle School

On July 15, Britt selected Becky Stone to be principal at Eagleton Middle School.

“Becky is a very talented and skillful educator. She has a great blend and balance of skills, energy and enthusiasm that will prove to be a wonderful asset to the Eagleton Middle School community,” Britt said. “Becky deeply cares about children and leads with confidence and compassion. She is committed to achieving excellence for all children.”

Stone, 40, received a B.S. from Tennessee Wesleyan College in human services. She received her master’s degree from Carson Newman College in elementary education and guidance K-12. Stone later completed an Ed.S. degree from Lincoln Memorial University in administration/supervision.

Stone began her career with Anderson County Schools in 1994 at Northwood Middle School where she served as a seventh grade science teacher and a school counselor. She remained with Anderson County Schools until she was hired with Blount County Schools in 2001. Stone was placed at the newly built Heritage Middle School as the school’s counselor and has remained in that capacity until her appointment of principal at Eagleton Middle School beginning the 2009-2010 school year.

“I am very excited about becoming a part of the Eagleton Middle School family,” she said. “I am eager to work with the staff, students and community in fulfilling their vision of academic success.

“This is going to be a new journey for me, but I am extremely excited and feel blessed to be in the Eagleton community. Everyone I have met have been so welcoming and so nice. It’s a great community.”

Stone is married to David Stone. They have two children, John David who is 9 years old and Emma Grace, 6.

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