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Lookout Valley Elementary parents concerned by principal shakeup

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Lookout Valley Elementary School has had six principals in the past 12 years and parents say that's too much.

The most recent shakeup is sending a well-liked principal to another school and many say they just want stability for the children.

School board officials call it a strategic move that'll be good for the entire county. But parents say they're tired of feeling like a training school for principals.

Concerned parents and community members filled the John A. Patten Community Center in Lookout Valley, where school board member Joe Galloway offered an explanation to the principal shakeup.

"I knew there was concern because we've had such an excellent principal here, and I wanted to address how the process goes, and exactly why the lady coming in is coming in, and why the other one is leaving," said Galloway.

Many parents and students say they love outgoing Principal Regina Brock.

She'll now be principal at Thrasher Elementary.

She'll be replaced by Nolan Elementary Assistant Principal Alisan Taylor.

Many parents spoke up at the meeting, like Russell Riddle, who has two grandchildren at the school.

He says he's sick of the fast turnover.

"We have no problem about the new principal coming in," Riddle said. "It's just that we don't' want the same process happening again in another two years, which affects the children and the parents."
But it wasn't just adults speaking out. Eight-year-old Emma Hendrix gave the audience her opinion.

"I know this was a grownup decision, but why didn't you give us children our opinion to help decide," asked Hendrix.

County commissioner Joe Graham was also at the meeting.

He says Lookout Valley Elementary has seen bad leadership in the past, and he wants to keep good leadership when the school gets it.

"We were told here tonight that this principal would be here as long as the superintendent was there," Graham said. "So if we hold the superintendent at his word, and I intend to, so if we hold the superintendent to his word, than this principal will be here for a while."

Galloway says he trusts Superintendent Rick Smith's decision to transfer Brock and Taylor.

"I think it's going to be a great transition," Galloway said. "I'm comfortable about it, and I appreciate the opportunity for these folks to ask questions. They had some great ones."

Joe Galloway told the crowd that Regina Brock's transfer to Thrasher is a promotion, because it's a bigger school.

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