Metro Nashville Public Schools announced that six new principals will be taking the reins at schools Nashville schools this upcoming school year.

The principals were chosen for their schools based on input from parents and staff members, as well as a rigorous set of standards, according to MNPS.

“I’m excited to watch these leaders move their schools in new directions while also building on existing strengths that ensure every student is known and on a path to success,” MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle said.

The new principal assignments for the 2021-22 school year are as follows:

Debbie Booker will continue to lead The Academy at Old Cockrill as executive principal, having served this past year as the as the school’s interim principal. Prior to serving at Old Cockrill, Booker was executive principal for the Cohn Learning Center from 2012 to 2020. She also served four years as assistant principal of Antioch High, and was a mathematics teacher in a number of districts for several years prior. Booker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alabama A&M University and an educational specialist degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Marlon Heaston will lead Moses McKissack Middle School this year, replacing Thomas Chappelle. Heaston is coming to the district from the Clarksville-Montgomery County School system. For the past six years, Heaston has been principal of Kenwood Middle School. He was assistant principal at Northwest High for two years before that, and served as an adjunct professor at Austin Peay State University. Heaston has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Ashley Jackson will take charge at Gateway Elementary School in place of John Garland. Jackson comes from Shwab Elementary, where she has been assistant principal for the past two years. Before her work at Shwab, she was dean of instruction at Goodlettsville Middle and previously served as a music teacher and an advanced academic resource teacher. Jackson earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Union University and her education specialist degree from Regent University.

Jeremiah Riggs will take over from Darwin Mason at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School. Riggs is returning to MNPS after spending several years as a teacher and administrator in Chicago. Riggs earned his bachelor’s degree from from Welch College in Nashville and his master’s educational specialist and doctorate degrees from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Ashley Thomas will serve as the new principal at Park Avenue Elementary School. She’s taking the place of Deltina Braden. Thomas isn’t new to Park Avenue, having served as a teacher at the school from 2009-2014. She is returning from Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts, where she was assistant principal for the past five years. She also formerly served as dean of students at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary and as an adjunct professor at Nashville State Community College. Thomas earned her bachelor’s educational specialist, and doctorate degrees from Tennessee State University and her master’s degree from Lipscomb University.

Rhiannon Wilson will lead the Ivanetta H. Davis Early Learning Center, previously led by Dana Eckman. Wilson, an MNPS graduate, brings 20 years of experience and an extensive background in early childhood education as a classroom teacher, instructional specialist, pre-K instructional coach, and pre-K program specialist for the district. She served for the past three years as the assistant principal of Tom Joy Elementary. She holds doctorate and master’s degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University, an educational specialist degree from Tennessee Tech University and a bachelor’s from Middle Tennessee State University.

“Thank you to everyone in each of these school communities who contributed to the search process,” Battle said.

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