Hodges Named Principal of Grayson County High School Alternative Education Center
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County High School Principal Tommy Hodges has accepted a job at Grayson County Schools as of Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
Hodges has been the principal at ECHS for the past five years. Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Patrick Waddell said he was informed by Hodges yesterday that he had been offered and had accepted another position in a different school district, which the Edmonson Voice later learned was Grayson County.
The Grayson County school district said in a statement provided to the Edmonson Voice, "Tommy Hodges has been hired as Principal of the GCHS Alternative Education Center, effective with the 2019-20 school year."
Grayson County Schools Public Information Officer Caryn Lewis also added, "In that role, he will work closely, often one-on-one, with students in a non-traditional, flexible environment that provides the individualized educational, career and personal supports to help them succeed."
"Mr. Tommy Hodges has done a great job as principal at ECHS," said Supt. Waddell. "The school has steadily risen academically during his time as principal and he has had, and has developed positive relationships with our students."
Mr. Hodges spoke to the Edmonson Voice about the difficult decision he made by stepping down as ECHS principal, which he said was led by God and Hodges' family.
"I truly believe that God is with me on this decision," he said. "I thank Him daily on the blessings He has given to me. Also, for the last 12 years I've worked 220 - 240 days per year. It's time for me to be a Husband and Father again. Cindy has supported me for 12 long years as an administrator. There are a lot of afternoons she is left at home while I've attended sporting events and having to stop what I'm doing to answer emails and phone calls. She has carried me through some tough times and has always backed me in my decisions to move schools. Now it's my turn to pay her back by being home more. Being able to spend more time with her. I'll be able to spend more time with my family. I will also have the opportunity to move back to Hart County and be closer to my family."
The Hart County native has resided in Smiths Grove for the past 6 1/2 years.
Supt. Waddell said the high school site based decision making council, or SBDM will undergo training on the hiring of a new principal.
"The council will seek input through surveys from staff, parents and community members." he said. "Until the council is trained, I am unsure when or how this will occur. We currently have this training set to occur on June 27, 2019. It is difficult to establish a timeline when all of this will occur until the SBDM council is trained, but it would be my goal to have the next principal in place before school starts. I believe that Edmonson County has many positive attributes that will attract strong candidates to apply for this position."
Hodges has had an impressive career through his years in education. He served in the role of Title I - January 2000 - May 2000 at Grayson County Middle School, then later served as a science teacher- August 2000 - May 2007, served as Assistant Principal of Grayson County High School July 2007 - June 2010, then as Assistant Principal Warren East High School July 2010 - June 2014, and finally Principal at Edmonson County High School- July 2014 - July 2019.
Grayson County Superintendent Doug Robinson shared some of his thoughts on the hiring of Hodges.
"We are elated to have someone of Mr. Hodges’ caliber and background to lead the AEC forward," he said. “I’m confident he will make a strong impact on the Center and the success of its students.”
Waddell added that Hodges' decision to leave ECHS was a difficult one but he understood the reasons behind it.
"I am saddened to see him leave, but he has given Edmonson County five strong years. I also understand his desire to move into another position that doesn't have the time requirements that being a high school principal carries," he said.
While the dark-bearded, 6'4" principal could be intimidating at times, a large majority of students connected with him on many levels. He often laughed and joked with students and was regularly seen giving high-fives to student athletes on the courts and fields at school events. Hodges also shared his thoughts on why Edmonson County will always be a special place.
"This place has such a laid back, hometown feeling. It's really a little paradise. I'm going to miss a lot of people that I have worked with for the last five years. During this time, the high school has made great strides with accountability, but that's 100% due to the students and staff hard work in the building. I know the site based council will hire the right person for this position, which will be a person that will be able to take the high school higher than I ever could have. The future is bright for ECHS."
Hodges resignation at ECHS will be effective June 28, 2019.