New Principal Brown "Ready To Go" at East Ridge High - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New Principal Brown "Ready To Go" at East Ridge High

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Zac Brown Zac Brown

By David Carroll

dcarroll@wrcbtv.com

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Zac Brown says he's never been more excited about the first day of school.  Although it's still several weeks away, the first-time principal can't wait to meet all the students and teachers he'll be guiding at East Ridge High School.

He knows he's stepping into a school in need of a long-term leader.  The school's most recent principal, Ron Peck resigned after only one year, so Brown will be the school's third principal in three years.  "I'm in it to stay," Brown says.

At 31, he'll be Hamilton County's youngest high school principal.  The Dyersburg, TN native graduated from Bryan College, and stayed in Rhea County for his first teaching job at Rhea County High.  At the high school, he taught math and coached wrestling.  At the same time, he was an adjunct math professor at Chattanooga State, where he still teaches.  In 2008 he became assistant principal at Hixson High School, and signed up for the county's Principal Workshop last year.

He says he's looking forward to "expanding my reach.  As a high school teacher or coach, you have an impact on maybe 100 students a day.  But as a principal at East Ridge High School, I can touch the lives of 850 students.  And I want them to know I'm on they're side.  I want them to succeed, and I want them to know I'll be disappointed if they don't."

He says the fact that he's East Ridge High's first African-American principal "shouldn't be an issue, since this is one of the county's most diverse schools.  We have students from various races and cultures, from all over the world.  I don't get caught up in color.  I'll shake your hand, and say, my name is Zac Brown, and then we go forward."

Although friends and colleagues warned him about the long hours that accompany the job of high school principal, he says he's not worried about that. "I haven't been on the job long enough to be burned out," he says with a laugh.  "But you have to understand, I don't look at ball games or concerts as a burden.  Those events tell me that the students are involved and learning, and I want to celebrate that.  It is a joy to go to those kind of activities.  As for the hours, hard work doesn't scare me.  I feed on that."

In his spare time, he enjoys disc golf, or frisbee golf.  "It's fun, and it's free!" he said.  "That's perfect for an educator."

Registration in Hamilton County schools will be August 4, with the first day of classes set for August 11.

 

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