New Principals Selected For The Fall
Posted on 04/22/2020
Photo: HCS logo

Hamilton County Schools announces new principals for this fall at Hixson High, Red Bank High, Lookout Valley Middle/High, Dalewood Middle, and Apison Elementary.

Dr. Lee Ziegler, currently the principal at Daisy Elementary, will be the new leader at Hixson High School.  He will replace Lee Sims, the long-time principal of Hixson, who will retire at the end of the school year.  Ziegler taught and coached at the middle school and high school level during his time in the classroom.  He was named principal at Daisy Elementary in May 2018 and was able to take the school from Level 1 to Level 5 in academic growth while the school was also named a Reward School by the state.

Before Daisy, Ziegler was an assistant principal for third thru fifth-grade at East Brainerd Elementary.  East Brainerd is one of the largest elementary schools in Hamilton County Schools.  At East Brainerd, he helped design and build the master schedule for the school, developed the new teacher's mentor program, implemented school emergency preparedness plans, and he was the lead math instructional leader.  Before East Brainerd, Ziegler was an instructional math coach working with teachers at East Ridge, Harrison, and Clifton Hills elementary schools.  As a math instructional coach, he worked with the University of Pittsburg Institute for Learning to develop a coaching model for the state of Tennessee. 

Ziegler was an eighth-grade teacher at Tyner Middle Academy, a science teacher and coach at Asheboro High School, and Southwestern Randolph High School both in Asheboro, North Carolina, and a teacher and coach at Coleridge Elementary in Coleridge, North Carolina.  He spent a brief time in ministry working as a college minister at Brainerd Baptist Church and a youth and family outreach minister at Cross Road Baptist Church in Asheboro, North Carolina. 

Ziegler holds a bachelor's degree from Mars Hill University, and a master's from Carson-Newman University.  He completed McRel Balanced Leadership training, participated in the PEF Leadership Fellow Cohort 17 and Principal Leadership Cohort 8.


Callie Stewart, assistant principal at Apison Elementary, will move into the principal's chair next year, replacing Ron Hughes, who is retiring at the end of this school year.  Hughes was an excellent mentor as he was selected 2014-15 Tennessee Principal of the Year.  Stewart is an accomplished, experienced administrator having served at Hillcrest, Woodmore, Hixson, and Apison elementary schools in Hamilton County as an assistant principal.

 During her time as an assistant principal, she was instrumental in creating a parental involvement program as a culminating project for the Principal Leadership Academyserved on a local university education advisory board, and revised the institute's education curriculum and training process.  She also collaborated with faculty to develop an after-school tutorial program.  She taught math and science for six years at East Lake Academy of Fine Arts and Ooltewah Middle School.

In April 1999, she was selected as one of the first participants in the inaugural cohort of the Alternative Certification Program for Hamilton County Schools. She successfully completed the PEF Principal Leadership Academy Cohort 3, was a participant in Columbia University's Teacher College Writers' Program, and completed McRel Balanced Leadership training.

She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a specialist degree from Tennessee Tech University.

Red Bank High School's new principal is Chris Tillett, currently the principal at Allen Elementary School.  Tillett will replace Elaine Harper, who became the executive director of the North River Learning Community for Hamilton County Schools earlier this year.

During his time at Allen Elementary, the school earned Reward School status from the state and Level 5 growth across all content areas.  He was also named the Tennessee PTA Principal of the Year for 2018-2019.  Allen earned the highest proficiency scores in English, language arts, and math last year.  Tillett's focus as a principal has been on building relationships, being visible in the school, maximizing resources, and serving the teachers in the school as they make a difference for children.

 Before coming to Hamilton County, Tillett was a principal in Huntington County, Indiana.  Tillett has been a principal since 2004.  He was a third-grade teacher before moving into administration. Tillett is well versed in technology as he also served as the technology coordinator and webmaster while teaching third-grade. In Hamilton County Schools, he completed McRel Balanced Leadership training.

Tillett earned a bachelor's degree from Anderson University, and he has advanced degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University.


Rashaad Williams, currently assistant principal at Hixson High School, is the new principal at Dalewood Middle.  Williams has been the assistant principal at Hixson for the past three years.  He has also served as the lead administrator for the Future Ready Institutes at Hixson High.

Before his time at Hixson, Williams spent two years at Tyner Academy as dean of students working with curriculum and instruction, student discipline, school safety, and the Freshman Academy at Tyner.  He was a teacher and Freshman Academy chairman at Tyner in his six years of teaching at the school.  Williams was also the head coach for track and field at Tyner.  Before coming to Hamilton County Schools, he was a fourth-grade teacher at Inner City Christian Academy.

Williams is a product of area public schools as he graduated from Chattanooga High School, where he served as his class and Student Council president for three years. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a specialist degree from Tennessee Tech University.

 He completed McRel Balanced Leadership training, the PEF Principal Leadership Academy Graduate Cohort 5, and Leadership Chattanooga Graduate, Leadership Fellows Cohort 11.  Honors for Williams included News Channel 9 Educator of the Week in 2008, Hamilton County Education Association Secondary Classroom 2006 Teacher of the Year, and a 2006 Unum Provident Teacher Hall of Fame Inductee.


Lookout Valley Middle/High's new principal this fall will be Lee Ann McBryar, currently the assistant principal at the school.  She has worked at Lookout Valley since 2015 when she came to the school as an instructional coach.  Lookout Valley received a Level 5 designation for academic growth in her time at the school.

 McBryar taught at Red Bank High and Central High as an English and reading teacher. She also served as a graduation coach at Central High.  In 2007, she started an Education Pathway at Central High School to help prepare aspiring teachers. The students were able to participate in a form of student teaching. She also taught dual enrollment for education courses for UTC for the high school students. McBryar was the teacher for the program until she left Central in 2014. Five of her students are currently employed as teachers in Hamilton County Schools.

 Educational training for McBryar included a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.

 McBryar was in PEF Leadership Fellows, Cohort 11, she won a News Channel 12 Golden Apple Teacher of the Month award and completed McRel Balanced Leadership training.