Shannon Lakey never had any doubts as to what she wanted to do with her life. Coming from a family of educators, Lakey always knew that one day she would be a part of the teaching profession.
After graduating from Oneonta High School, Lakey set out to accomplish her goal of becoming a teacher at Jacksonville State University where she earned a bachelor of science in education with a concentration in secondary education/social science.
From there, “I achieved my dream with a job offer as a 10th-grade history teacher at Hayden High School,” she said. “I felt my role in the classroom was like that of an entertainer on stage who acted out scenes from the past to help my students be successful both inside and outside the classroom.”
While teaching, Lakey earned a master of science in education and an educational specialist degree in school leadership and administration from Jacksonville State University.
Lakey spent six years in the classroom and then was offered the position of assistant principal at Hayden Middle School. Now three years later, Lakey has been named the principal of Blountsville Elementary, where she replaces longtime principal Kaye Smallwood.
“This is my dream job,” she said. “Being a principal in a county school is just so exciting to me. To me, the Blount County schools are just wonderful.
“And Mrs. Smallwood left this school in tremendous financial shape. She emphasized technology and team work. We have great resources here because of all the things she did while she was here. All I want to do is continue to build on the things she had in place.”
Things Lakey hopes to accomplish in the coming months and years is to continue to have great student engagement in the classrooms, increase test scores, and get the community more involved.
“There is no way to do this job without parent and community support,” she said. “We already have that here, but I want to keep it going.”
Lakey oversees a staff of approximately 70 employees. Since starting at Blountsville Elementary earlier this summer, she has been amazed at the dedication of her faculty and staff.
“The faculty and staff are phenomenal,” she said. “They have been here all summer working in their classrooms and getting ready. It is so exciting to see that enthusiasm. They take such pride in their school. From the teachers to the students, everyone involved is so eager. The whole environment is like that.
“And I want the teachers, staff, students, and parents to know that I will come to work everyday and give it my all. And then I will go home to my husband and son and give my all there.”
Lakey and her husband Chris have a 16- month-old daughter, Riley. They live in Locust Fork on the farm where she grew up.
“My whole family grew up on my grandmother’s farm,” she said. “So to me there was nowhere else I wanted to be. We have all built on it over the years. It’s great to be out there with my parents and my brother and his family.
“I am blessed to have such a remarkable family and be a part of such an amazing school. I thought my dream of becoming a teacher had been accomplished, but now I realize that dream is only getting started.”
Blountsville Elementary will have a meet-the-principal day on Sunday, Aug. 1, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the school’s lunchroom. The school’s meet-theteacher day is Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.