Wednesday, August 8, 2012
This year Gail Chuy will take the post of principal at East Hamilton School. She said she is most excited about the challenge of the new school and is looking forward to having a great year with the students and faculty.
In an effort to introduce Chuy to the community, the East Hamilton Community News conducted a 10-question interview with her.
How long have you been an educator and where did you work before coming to this school?
I’ve been in education for 34 years. I started in Bradley County as an English teacher at Charleston High School that’s now Walker Valley, and then we moved to Virginia Beach, where I taught at an alternative school and was an administrator there at a middle school and at a high school. Then we moved back to Tennessee, where I served as the assistant principal at Red Bank High School and then as the principal for the last six years.
What are your goals as you enter your new position?
I want to help the faculty and community increase student achievement and establish traditions. Coming into a school with a four-year program and an established faculty, I want to help them realize their goals. In Tennessee and Hamilton County none of us are where we want to be with student achievement, and I want to work on that.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this position?
Getting to know the people here.
What CD or radio station do you listen to while you drive to work in the mornings?
I won’t be driving but for three minutes to get here, but when I was driving across town to Red Bank every day I really liked to start the day on a positive note. I listen to country sometimes or pop sometimes just depending on what’s playing.
What do you enjoy doing most outside of school?
I love to play golf. I’m not very good but I love to play. I also love to play with my grandkids and do things with them. I’m kind of a family person and we have seven grandkids.
What was your favorite subject while you were a student?
My favorite subject was always connected to my favorite teacher at that time. The subject I liked the most was English because of the teachers I had.
How important do you think parent (or community) involvement is in a student’s education and how do you plan on working with parents in your new position?
Obviously, support from home is huge. So many parents don’t have time to volunteer or be involved at school, and that’s OK as long as they are supportive of education and their child’s learning. That’s a huge support to use. So far at East Hamilton I’ve been working with the PTA and the Booster clubs. My biggest thing will be can I keep up with them? Harnessing their energy and keeping up with that will be a challenge for sure, but I’m excited.
If you could tell students one thing about yourself what would it be?
That I’m fair and that I’m interested and supportive of all of their educations. I’m going to treat everyone the same; they’re all important and they can all be successful if they try.
What advice would you like to give students as they begin this school year?
Come in with an attitude of “I can learn and I can try.” Try to get the most out of the year. Come in with a positive attitude — they can make it as miserable as they want or as happy and fun as they want. It’s really up to them.