“The exciting part is there are no pre-conceived ideas. I’ll really be able to work with the staff and see what they want to do and see what I can do to help — to improve and to grow,” said Mr. Chris Routt, the high school teacher-turned-principal of Johnson Elementary. The announcement that he would be the new elementary principal came in on March 8. Quickly, former students, current students, community members and more sent out their various social media posts about how happy they were to see his accomplishment. However, these were also coupled with many cries of sadness at his leaving. The day following this announcement, he was able to sit down and answer some questions.
Levi Elliott: What inspired you to make the switch from teaching at the high school to becoming principal at Johnson?
Chris Routt: Well, a few years ago I got my administrator’s license. Which, to get your administrator’s license, you have to have your Master’s as well as some other requirements. I kind of felt I’d been called to leadership. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, I still enjoy being around the kids, but I just felt I’d been called to leadership, and then I was ready to make the change.
LE: So, what are you most excited for in your new position?
CR: I’m really looking forward to working with Johnson’s staff and kids. They’ve got a great staff, and great students. It’s almost like a fresh start for me.. There will be some big changes though! I’ll be working with elementary kids instead of high school kids. But I’m just excited to see what happens. Ms. Marcum out there has done an awesome job — she’s retiring this year, and it will be nice to step into a situation where she’s already created a great environment, and a great school. I’m very excited.
LE: Is there any part of your job here [at the high school] that you’re going to miss?
CR: I.. I will miss you guys [students]. It’s kind of bittersweet, but I will definitely miss you guys. It’ll be a different atmosphere, and I’ll miss being around you guys. The funny part is, I’ll actually be graduating with you guys, it took me around 30 years to get out of this place.