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Principal Hobbs speaks to Rotary
Chris Hobbs rotary.jpg
Warren County High School Head Principal Chris Hobbs addresses the Rotary Club of McMinnville Thursday.

The Rotary Club of McMinnville invited Warren County High School Head Principal Chris Hobbs to speak on Thursday to give his perspective on his first quarter at WC. Hobbs thanked the club before he went into his background.

“Born and bred, Irving College,” he said, “That’s my community.” He went to school there until junior high and started his career as a teacher there as well. “Today I just wanted to speak to you about our high school as a whole. There’s a couple things I wanted to talk about.”

Hobbs wished to explain the structure of the school and “alleviate some concerns.” “The structure of the high school now is in the form of academies,” he said. “There are five academies inside the school. When I say five different academies, it’s almost like five different schools within  WCHS.”

Hobbs added, “Each academy has their own guidance counselor and has their own academy principal.” He listed them as the freshman academy, business, law and education academy, biological services academy, automotive, construction and advanced machining academy, and architecture, culinary and creative arts academy.

He explained the freshman academy as a useful buffer to transition into the high school, especially for those coming from the K-8 county schools. It’s sectioned off from the rest of the school, and Hobbs added, “All their classes are going to be right there, so that kind of alleviates some fear from parents and guardians.”

Hobbs said, “After the freshman academy, they do have a CTE class that is called Career Explorations. It’s introducing them to careers out there for them in the future.” This helps them choose which academy to choose at the high school.

Some members asked questions about the academies. One question asked was, “Is everyone at the high school in an academy? And if so, what about those people that really don’t have a clue what they want to be as a freshman?”

Hobbs said he asked that same question when he became the principal and that he is still trying to figure out those answers. Bradley Central has been using an academy system for years, and Hobbs said that he plans to visit and ask these types of questions to see if this style of education works with Warren County.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole a child into an academy that they can’t move out of,” said Hobbs. “There’s got to be a way to be flexible, because when I went to Tennessee Tech, I was going to be a sports journalist.” Hobbs said, “Now I’m here.”

“I just don’t think we’ve done enough research for it,” Hobbs said. “That’s why I’m here. That’s what I want to do.” Hobbs emphasized that he wants student input as it is their experiences and their futures at stake in high school.

Hobbs said they are trying to gauge the students by asking, “What are some things you would like WCHS to offer? What are some things that we can put in? Because we can add those in the academies.”