When Lebanon Special School District’s newest school Jones Brummett opens in the fall, Becky Sevier, who was the principal at Byars Dowdy for six years, will be the school’s first principal.
The school is named after two long-time school board members, Steve Jones and Andy Brummett.
Sevier said she seeks to honor Jones and Brummett’s “service to our community through being a part of building a strong foundation for their namesake school.
“I cannot imagine anything more exciting to a school administrator than to be involved in a school from the ground up. This is my 13th year as an administrator. I have been a principal for nine of those years. I feel that I have the experience, wisdom, and the growth mindset that is needed to lead Jones Brummett Elementary. I have learned so much over the years as an educator that have led me to this moment.”
Sevier said there are strategic ways to plan for the opening of a new school.
“I start with setting specific goals and action steps in order to achieve my goal of a successful school opening in August 2021,” she said.
She said that her top four goals are “creating a new school community based on trust, respect and open communication with all stakeholders; building a foundation for establishing a rigorous academic program that meets the needs of diverse learners; (developing) safe and effective operational systems; and (cultivating) a positive school culture that allows all stakeholders to feel included. Each of these goals have multiple action steps that involve addressing the diverse needs of teachers, students, parents and the Lebanon community.”
One of her first decisions is selecting her administrative team. She also will hire the school’s related-arts team and office staff. Teachers are expected to start being hired this spring.
Jones Brummett is a pre-K through fifth grade school. It also houses the Alternative School for the district and a satellite Wee Care (childcare for employees) site.
She said that Jones Brummett was built for two schools to share one kitchen. A middle school likely will be built on the same property, although each will have its own cafeteria, she said.
Sevier said she does want “parents to know that their child will be attending school in a new, state of the art, beautiful building. But more importantly, even more than the new building, is that our school will be one that stresses community, kindness, academic excellence, positivity, and open communication. I believe wholly in having a strong school culture that serves as the foundation for everything else.”
Sevier has 22 years of education experience. She began her career in White County and also taught at Holy Rosary Academy before she had children.
She taught in the Wilson County Schools system, at Mt. Juliet Elementary and at Lakeview Elementary. After she obtained her master’s degree, she became an administrator.
Sevier was an assistant principal at West Elementary for four years, followed by three years as that school’s principal. She left West to become the principal at Byars Dowdy.
Sevier said that a successful principal “needs to build trust with students, parents, and the faculty. That trust is built through time and is earned through honesty and open communication. Relationships are another important factor to success. Each person in the school community needs to feel valued, supported, and appreciated. Lastly, a successful principal never asks someone to do a task that he/she is not willing to do themself. I believe in servant leadership and try to practice it each day.”