A new assistant principal has been
named for Vonore Elementary and Vonore Middle schools.
Donna Stapleton began work this week,
stepping into the split role with excitement.
"I feel so fortunate to be in this
position and I'm looking forward to meeting each and every student
and parent," said Stapleton. "I encourage all of them to stop by
and introduce themselves once the school year gets up and running."
Monroe County Director of Schools Mike
Lowry hired Stapleton on July 22, after she came in to interview for
a guidance counselor position.
"When I went in to interview for
that, the assistant principal position had not been posted yet," Stapleton explained. "When asked about my previous experience, I
told them I'd been an elementary school principal before and they
asked if I'd be interested in that type of role again. We just kind
of shifted gears in the interview and there you have it!"
In June, Angela "Angie" Davis was
hired for the the split position, but she resigned from the position
in late June to accept a job in Blount County.
Stapleton called her hire "meant to
"I am convinced it was meant to be," she said. "I'm
where I'm supposed to be."
Stapleton has a bachelor's degree in
elementary education and English from the University of Texas, a
master's degree in counseling and education from California Lutheran
University and a second master's degree in educational leadership
from California Lutheran University. She also obtained her
educational specialization from California State
Originally from Chicago, Stapleton said
she has moved around a few times due to her husband's job. The couple
is currently living in Loudon.
"My family is from this area and his
is from Indiana," she said. "It was time for us to work our way
Stapleton's years of experience include
time as an elementary and middle school teacher, a middle school
counselor, a Central Office supervisor and an elementary school
principal. She has worked in the Knox County School System for the
past few years.
"I feel very, very fortunate," said
Stapleton. "A lot of times when you move around, it sometimes takes
a toll on your career path, but I've been very fortunate to always
land in positions where I learn and I'm able to grow both personally
That experience will make a difference
here in Monroe County, said Lowry.
"Donna's prior administrative
experience and love of children will be a great asset to the Vonore
community," Lowry told The Advocate & Democrat.
Stapleton said she is looking forward
to the new challenge.
"I think I have a pretty good idea of
what to anticipate," she said. "When you're working with little
ones especially, there's always a new challenge and that's one of the
best parts of the job."
The split position will allow Stapleton
to work with the age groups that she began her career with.
"I'm looking forward to getting back
to working with middle schoolers," she said.
Stapleton's hope for Vonore Elementary
and Vonore Middle schools is that they will continue to grow
"To make sure that the faculty and
staff at both schools are working toward the common goal of moving
students forward and making sure they're successful," she said. "Also, that we create an environment for the kids where they feel
safe and nurtured and that we genuinely care about them as human
But, she also realizes things won't go
smoothly all the time.
"There will be bumps along the way," Stapleton said. "There always are. But, as long as we work together
toward our common goal, we'll get through those little bumps."