EC Resident Leaves Warren East To Come Back Home
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School named local resident Jonathan Williams the new principal at ECHS earlier today. Williams leaves his role as principal at Warren East High School to fill the vacancy left by departing principal Brian Alexander, who was named Edmonson County Superintendent on May 5th.
Williams described the announcement as a "dream come true,"
"When I took the job at Warren East I really expected Mr. Alexander to stay at Edmonson County for a few years, so I didn't see the opportunity coming so fast," he said. "I've always wanted to work here at my home and to be named principal at my alma mater, I mean, it's literally a dream come true."
Williams said with children of his own going to school here, being part of the same school system is very meaningful for his family.
"Honestly, it's hard to believe. I'm just overwhelmed with emotion."
We spoke with newly named Superintendent Brian Alexander about the hire and asked his thoughts.
"First, I want to commend the Site Based Decision Making Council for their diligence in this process," he said. "They interviewed three good candidates and they felt like Mr. Williams was the best choice. I believe it's a great hire because not only is Jonathan a very qualified and experienced principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, but also because he's a hometown guy that's really community-minded, and that's also important in Edmonson County. I look forward to working with him and I believe he'll do an outstanding job."
A 2001 graduate of Edmonson County, Mr. Williams served as the principal of H.W. Wilkey Elementary School in Grayson County prior to his role as Warren East Principal. Before that, he was a special education teacher at North Warren Elementary School from 2009-2011. Throughout his tenure in education, Mr. Williams has served the students of Hardin County, Edmonson County, Glasgow Independent School District, and Warren County. He's also served as an interventionist and assistant principal.
When asked about plans for the 2020-21 school year, he gave an expected answer, due to the current COVID-19 situation.
"We don't even know for sure when school will start," he said. "There are just so many variables that will come into play before we can really discuss details for next year, but one thing I want to work on is school spirit and some pride for our school and county."
Williams said at some point, an inferiority complex has crept into the community that's somehow led people to believe Edmonson County isn't as good as other school systems, or can't accomplish the same positive results.
"We need to do away with that. High school is a great experience and I know when I was a student here, there was such great school spirit. We were proud to say we were from Edmonson County and I want to see that again. We have a superintendent that's supportive of that idea and I think we're going to see him do some creative things."
Mr. Alexander said that there is an adopted school calendar, but a decision on when school will start will be made at the next board meeting in July.
"This is such a fluid situation and it seems things change every day," he said. "We're working on alternatives if they're needed, but we're going to do what's best for our students and staff. Whatever we decide, we're going to make sure it fits within our community."
Williams said he's looking forward to getting to know some of the newer staff with which he's unfamiliar, as well as some of the teachers that had their same roles there when he was a student.
"I hope my former teachers can forget about some of the things that happened when I was a student since I'm going to be principal," he said with a laugh. "But seriously, I've heard such good things about (asst. principal Chad) Mr. Johnston, and now that Mrs. Nikki Culbreth and Mr. Kevan Alford are going to be counselors, that's also a plus. I hope the community will embrace me as their principal because I love this community and am so thankful to be part of it in a new way."
Jonathan and his family reside in Sweeden.