By: Marlana Ward
At the April 10th meeting of the Johnson County School Board, a new page in the history of Johnson County Schools began as it was announced that Dr. Mischelle Simcox would transition from Director of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction to Director of Schools.
Dr. Simcox is a native of Johnson County where she graduated from Johnson County High School in 1992. She is the Daughter of Sonny and Gail Gambill and the grand-daughter of the late Henry and Opal Gambill as well as Howard and Juanita Jennings all of Mountain City. She and her husband Dirk have two sons, Dylan and Connor, who are enrolled at Roan Creek Elementary.
Dr. Simcox graduated from ETSU in 1999 with her Bachelor of Science-Secondary Education, Chemistry and Biology. In 2004, she gained her Masters of Education Degree from Milligan College. She followed this with an Administration Endorsement from Radford University in 2005 and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2008 from Lincoln Memorial University. In 2011, she earned her Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from ETSU.
Her career with the Johnson County School System began in 1999 as the Biology/Chemistry Teacher and volleyball coach at Johnson County High School. She became Supervisor of Student Services for Johnson County in 2006 and was promoted to Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction. As director, Simcox looks forward to continuing her relationships with fellow staff. We have wonderful employees who truly care about the education of all our students, Simcox said. Our students deserve a quality education that will allow them to be competitive in the world that they will live and work in.
As Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Simcox has been successful in helping Johnson County Schools with a variety of grants. We were able to expand our Health Science program at JCHS due to a Perkins Grant, she said. The Teacher Incentive Grant enables us to reward effective teachers and principals based on improving student achievement. The 21st Century grant at JCHS allows us to provide academic and enrichment opportunities for students before and after school. The GEARUP TN grant follows a cohort of students from seventh grade until their first year of college. This grant is designed to increase the number of students who attend a two or four year college.
Dr. Simcox also helped to bring the students of Johnson County greater educational opportunities with the introduction of iPads in the classroom. I am very proud of the 1:1 iPad initiative that allows every sixth, seventh, and ninth grader to have their own iPad to prepare them better for the 21st century learning environment, Simcox said. The iPads have increased collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills with our students, Simcox shared.
Building a collaborative vision for the future is a task that Dr. Simcox takes very seriously. I will continue to develop a vision once I have met with all faculty members and stakeholders, she explained. I feel that this is something that should be created together.
The 2014-2015 school year promises to be a bright start to the future of Johnson County Schools with Dr. Simcox as Director. My goal is for Johnson County students to have a successful educational experience, Simcox said. I have a passion for learning that has been shaped by my 16 years experience of working in the Johnson County School System. As Director of Schools, I believe that students are eager to learn and with the support of their parents, teachers, and community members, all students can realize their full potential.