It’s a return home for Chris Hobbs, who returns home in a big way as the new executive principal at Warren County High School.
A 1992 WCHS graduate, Hobbs returns to lead his alma mater, a high school with a usual enrollment of 1,600 to 1,800 students.
“It’s been going on nine years now since I left Irving College and it’s great to be coming back home,” said Hobbs on Friday, the day he was officially announced as executive principal. “I’m going to bring some good ideas I’ve seen in other school districts and I’m going to look to get feedback from my staff, the community and the students. Some things might change. Some changes might not be popular. I’m going to be looking at atmosphere, culture and accountability. Account-ability is going to be a big word for us.”
Hobbs grew up in the Irving College community and went to Irving College School for grades K-8. He credits Sam Boyd for being one of his key influences, both as his principal at Irving College and as an elder at his church.
Hobbs taught and coached basketball at Irving College before going out of county for employment. He spent seven years as an assistant principal at Franklin County High School serving as the leader of the 9th Grade Academy, as well as the testing coordinator. He spent one year as principal of Tracy City Elementary in Grundy County.
Most recently, he was principal of South Middle School in Franklin County.
When former WCHS executive principal Clark George moved to the Central Office, it was also announced all five WCHS assistant principal positions would be filled by an open application process. Filling those spots, called academy principal jobs, will be the top priority for Hobbs.
“Going through those applications and getting those positions filled will be the first thing I do,” he said. “We’re going to have to build a team that works well together and a lot of trust goes into that. I don’t want a bunch of ‘yes’ people. I want people who can look me in the eye and say, ‘That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.’”
Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows announced Hobbs as the new principal Friday morning.
He said he wants Hobbs to build a team around him “that plays to his strengths.”
“He and I will sit down throughout the month of July and discuss things that need to be addressed,” said Swallows. “We always have to remember that it’s all about the kids. We’re trying to create a first-class experience for them and that includes everything from academics to extracurricular activities.”
Swallows added, “Throughout the process my goal was to identify a candidate that carried a passion to attack the unique challenges we face in our school and district. Mr. Hobbs not only has that passion but also the experience necessary to be successful as a leader. I am very pleased he will be joining our team and look forward to the work that will be done to create the very best educational outcomes for our WCHS students.”
Chris is married to Desiree, a teacher at Irving College, and they have two children, Chance and Mia. He will officially begin his duties July 1.