published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Signal Mountain principal retiring after three years

Tom McCullough
Tom McCullough
Matt Fields-Johnson
A message from Tom McCullough to SIGNAL MOUNTAIN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL

To the faculty, staff and SMMHS school community,

It is official. I have submitted the paperwork to retire at the end of this school year. I have always prayed that the Lord's Will be done in my life, but that is not always easy to discern. I told myself, and many of you as well, that I would like to stay at Signal another two years. However, I will be 66 later in the year and I have decided it is time to move on, time to give a younger person an opportunity at this wonderful school. I have been the head of three different schools, the head of two small school systems and have served as a community college administrator among my 42 years in education. At times this job has been the most difficult and complex of them all. It has also been one of the most rewarding jobs I have had. I enjoyed my three years at one the best public schools in Tennessee. One of my goals was for Signal to be recognized as one of the top 100 schools in the United States, something I believe the community would like to see as well. So much of what it takes is in place, a high level of parental involvement, an aligned curriculum, a faculty that supports high expectations, test scores in the top 5% of the state and international academic standards. However, with SMMHS in only it's fourth year of operation, we are still several years away from having the data that brings top 100 recognition.

Signal Mountain Middle High School will always have a special place in my heart, and I eagerly anticipate seeing many of your children and my grandchildren graduate here. I will always want the best for you at SMMHS and am proud of the small role I played in it's success. Thank you for all your support and hard work.

Signal Mountain Middle-High School Principal Tom McCullough will retire at the end of this school year, he announced this morning.

McCullough had originally planned to stay on for two more years at the school, which he’s led for three years.

“However, I will be 66 later in the year and I have decided it is time to move on, time to give a younger person an opportunity at this wonderful school,” McCullough said in an email to Signal Mountain staff and community members.

In 42 years of education, McCullough said he’s led three schools, including Signal Mountain and David Brainerd Christian School, worked as a community college administrator and led two small school systems.

“At times this job has been the most difficult and complex of them all,” he wrote. “It has also been one of the most rewarding jobs I have had.”

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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