Parents at Monroe County elementary school upset over principal’s reassignment

TELLICO PLAINS (WATE) – Parents at a Monroe County elementary school are taking to social media hoping they can void a shake-up in school leadership.

Teachers, students, staff and parents at Rural Vale Elementary learned Thursday that Principal Missy Carter will not be returning next fall because of reassignment.

Many parents have said they are bothered by the decision, so they are using #KeepOurPrincipal on Facebook when posting about Principal Carter.

“We want to keep her and she didn’t want to leave,” said teacher’s aide Rachael Dalton.

Families, like the Yearwoods, went by the elementary school on Friday to say goodbye to Principal Carter.

“I am the mother of a special needs child and from the time he was diagnosed, we have prayed for the right people to grow him, lead him, teach him. And I truly feel like Ms. Carter was just an answered prayer,” said Amy Yearwood.

“I’m very disappointed. She’s been there when I needed her,” added seventh grader Sidney Watson.

The community says they received the news out of the blue, and since then they’ve had questions.

“She always taught us you stand up for what’s right. What’s being done to her right now, it’s not right,” said Dalton.

Monroe County Director of Schools Tim Blankenship did not clarify or answer questions about why Carter was reassigned to Vonore Elementary School as a teacher.

“I just think we need more of an explanation of what has she done that’s so awful that we’re transferring her from a school that loves her, and we’re demoting her in the process,” asked Misti Pike whose granddaughter attends the school.

While Rural Vale families wait for reasons, some are writing letters and sharing the ways they say Principal Carter has helped.

“I’m asking people to notify your school board members, let them know. Call central office, call the governor, go over their heads if you have to. We can’t lose her,” said Dalton.

“It’s happy and she makes it come alive,” said sixth grader Hannah Dalton of how she says Carter enhances the school experience.

Other parents have sent emails saying they fully support Blankenship’s decision. They think he has made the right choice and they say they’re very anxious to see who the school will have as a replacement.

Carter had been at Rural Vale Elementary for three years. She did not wish to give an interview.

Director of Schools Tim Blankeship said in a statement: “All personnel decisions throughout the system are made with the best interests of the students of Monroe County in mind.”

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