published Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Chattanooga education pioneer Dr. Phyllis Printz dies at 86

Dr. Phyllis Jean “Jan” Printz, who served Chattanooga through charity, classroom and community outreach, died at her home Friday at age 86.

Printz, a native of Billings, Mont., moved to Chattanooga in 1958 and taught psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The UT-system appointed her to professor emeritus after 25 years of classroom excellence.

“Dr. Printz was a dedicated educator, a distinguished researcher, and an accomplished practitioner,” said Chuck Cantrell, UTC’s associate vice chancellor for communication and marketing. “Those of us who worked with her remember the passion she displayed for education. In every decision, she put student interest first. After her retirement, she remained active on campus as long as she was able. She will be greatly missed.”

Printz served on the Chattanooga School Board from 1989 to 1999.

Her recognition came locally and regionally — and often — including a certificate of appreciation from former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander. She authored countless position papers, professional articles and op-ed pieces for area newspapers.

Her breadth of experience also included service as the executive director of the Mental Health Association and as a consultant and trainer at the Chambliss Center for Children for 30 years.

“She was always interested in helping families that were struggling,” Chambliss Center President and CEO Phil Acord said. “What a wonderful person.”

Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at or 423-757-6592.

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