Austin-East loses, gains principal

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Tammi Campbell

One of the most popular principals in the Knox County school system is stepping down to take a job at the central office, officials said Tuesday.

Nathan Langlois, who has served as principal of Austin-East Magnet High School since 2015, was named the system’s Director of Advancement and Diversity.

Tammi Campbell, a 1987 graduate of Austin-East who has served as the school system’s ombudsman since 2017, has been appointed Austin-East’s new principal. 

 “In January, when Mr. Langlois accepted the offer to become the KCS Director of Advancement and Diversity, I knew it was critical to find a strong leader for Austin-East,” said Superintendent Bob Thomas. “Since then, the A-E community has endured several tragic events, and identifying the best principal for A-E became my top priority as superintendent.”

He continued: “Ms. Campbell has done an outstanding job as the district ombudsman, and I believe her ability to lead a strong team, to shape school culture, and to leverage relationships with stakeholders and community to create the necessary structures to support academic achievement are the perfect combination for this role.”

Nathan Langlois

The transition comes at the end of one of the most tragic semesters ever experienced by a Knox County school. Since late January, five students were killed by gunfire in a series of incidents that left the community in shock.

The most recent death (and the only one to take place on school property) came April 12 when Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, was shot and killed during an armed confrontation with police officers in a school restroom.

“I love Austin-East and it has been a privilege to be part of the Roadrunner family,” Langlois said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this new role, and I look forward to helping KCS identify talented educators and employees who will support our educational mission at schools across the district.”

The position that Langlois will fill was approved by the Board of Education last year and will report to the executive director of the Human Resources Department, according to KCS spokesperson Josh Flory.

“Mr. Langlois applied for the position, was extended an offer, and accepted in January. He will be responsible for planning and administering the recruitment, screening, interviewing, selection, and referral of applicants for certified teaching, administrative, management, and classified positions within Knox County Schools,” Flory said Tuesday.

Campbell previously served as an assistant principal at Austin-East and Hardin Valley Academy. She also worked as a counselor at Austin-East and as a systemwide Project GRAD facilitator.

“I am humbled and honored to serve in this capacity,” she said. “Austin-East holds a very special place in my heart, and I will work hard every day for the students, staff, and community to ensure the legacy of excellence will continue. I know there is much healing that needs to occur, but I am hopeful and excited for a brighter future as we build our A-E family.”

 Published on May 26, 2021.