Matthew Stewart- The Daily Times
Prospect Elementary School's future lies in its history, according to its new principal. "Prospect has a history of providing exceptional service," said Principal Angela "Angie" Davis. She succeeds Jake Jones, who has become Heritage High School's principal. Prospect Elementary School traces its lineage back to a one-room schoolhouse in Fort McTeer, which was built in 1784, Davis said. County officials built a six-room schoolhouse in 1913 and the former Prospect School in 1952. Prospect School closed in 1978, and the community didn't have a school for more than 30 years, she said. Prospect Elementary School opened in 2011.
"Jake (Jones) started with a new building, and he built this school's culture," Davis said. "He created a strong leadership team and developed instructional practices and procedures. We're going to continue to improve upon them. My role is to encourage staff and students to reach greater heights and support them as they make strides toward those goals."
The administrator said she has empowered teachers to reach these goals. "They're highly qualified, top-notch educators who go above and beyond to take care of the whole child. My management style is similar to a coach. I inspire others to do more, and it's a mind set that continues whether I'm here or not."
Davis has two initial goals: adequate resources for interventions and a sensory room. "As a literary leader for the past two years, RTI2 (Response to Instruction and Intervention) is close to my heart. We need to ensure that this school has adequate resources to execute those responsibilities. "We're also working on a sensory room for students in general and special education," she said. "It will help them break down information and cool down. I truly believe that a child has an ability to learn, and we need to find a way to help them do so."
Davis is starting her 25th year in public education. She served the past two years years as Middlesettlements Elementary's Title I teacher.
Davis served 22 years in Monroe County Schools, 16 years as an elementary teacher and five years as an assistant principal. She holds a bachelor's from Carson-Newman University, master's from Lincoln Memorial University and educational specialist from Tennessee Technological University.
Prospect Elementary's "first priority" is students, Davis said. "We're here to teach the whole child. We need an atmosphere that's comfortable and safe, so they're able to achieve more." She is also eager to make connections with community members, students and their families. "My primary focus right now is building relationships. I greet students and their parents each morning and afternoon. I poke my head into classrooms and sit down with students at lunch. I'm also going to ride the buses when it slows down, so I can introduce myself to the kids and learn our boundary lines."
Davis advised that she's following a similar process with teachers. "Everybody needs a nurturing environment and shared goals. It's how you build success."