Thomas Arnold, in his eleventh year as principal of Ooltewah Elementary School, has been reassigned to an assistant principal position at East Ridge Middle School.  In an open letter sent to media outlets Tuesday afternoon, Arnold cited "mistakes I have made in my personal life." He added that he accepts responsibility for his actions.  He will be suspended for ten days prior to his reassignment.

Although county school officials offered no details as to what led to Arnold's demotion, he wrote, "At no time did my personal issues negatively affect the academic integrity or financial stability of Ooltewah Elementary."  Sources within the Hamilton County Department of Education tell WRCB that Arnold and an employee of Ooltewah Elementary School were involved in meetings at the Central Office on Monday and Tuesday. The superintendent's office did not respond to our questions on whether any other employees were being disciplined or reassigned.

Former Westview Elementary principal Margo Williams, who retired earlier this year, will serve as Ooltewah Elementary's interim principal until a permanent replacement is selected.  Ooltewah is one of the largest elementary schools in the county.