For seven years, Amy Williamson devoted her time and energy to students at Hayden Elementary. Then in what she described as a leap of faith, she applied for and was hired as the new principal at Locust Fork Elementary.
“This was definitely a calling,” she said of her choice. “This decision was about faith and being obedient. I know this is where I am supposed to be. However, it definitely wasn’t an easy decision. I left a place that I loved, a place where I knew 400 kids’ names, faces, likes, and dislikes. I knew the parents and had relationships with the staff.”
Now Williamson is looking forward to building new relationships and meeting the approximately 670 students that she will watch over each and every day.
“Everyone I have met so far has been friendly, inviting, and excited,” she said. “I meet a new face every day. I knew nothing about Locust Fork before I got here, but after meeting all these wonderful people, I already feel comfortable. Of course, I am still as anxious as I know they are. It is going to be challenging but exciting.”
Williamson replaces longtime principal Mark Carter. She began her teaching career at Southeastern, where she taught for two years, before moving to Hayden Elementary, where she taught third grade for four years and fourth grade for one year. She has spent the past two years as the reading coach at Hayden Elementary.
A graduate of Appalachian High School, Williamson obtained both bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in elementary education. She also has an AA certification in administration.
Now she wants to bring the positive experiences of her education to the students at Locust Fork.
“When I was young, I was given leadership roles,” she said. “I want to give these students those same opportunities. I want to instill in them at an early age things like ambition and goal setting. I want them all to have leadership roles. We develop leaders from our children.
“I also want this to be a warm and inviting place for not only the faculty and staff, but also for
the students and their parents. I
want them all to feel welcome, to feel they are part of this educational and developmental process. I want their help. I cannot do this without their commitment and involvement.”
Williamson will oversee a staff of more than 65 as well as juggle the demands that come with managing a school in one of the fastest growing areas of Blount County.
“One of our biggest challenges here will be space and land as we continue to grow,” she said. “Right now we only have one extra classroom and that is being used for the extended-day program. As we continue to grow, we will need that space for a classroom.
“Right now, we just need to work on getting this program where it needs be. I want to bring the technology up to par and give the teachers what they need so that we can meet the needs of all our students. I want to give our teachers all the tools and resources they need. And I want us to all work as a team in order to reach all the kids.”
Williamson and her husband Scott live only 6.8 miles from the school. They have two children, 5-year-old Coleman and 2-yearold Cortlyn.
“I will always give 110 percent when I am here (at school),” she said. “And I can’t say that I don’t take some of it home, but I always set aside time for my husband and my children.
“Family is first. It takes a lot of organization and effort to balance home and work, but I have a lot of energy. I was raised in a family where you worked. I have always worked. And my aunt instilled in me as a child the importance of work and ambition and goal setting. Now I want to pass that on, not only to my children, but to the children here at Locust Fork.”