UPDATED: ‘I’ll always be a tiger,’ Watts announces resignation from Troup High
Published 3:28 pm Friday, May 12, 2023
Troup High School Principal Niki Watts announced on Friday that she plans to resign at the end of the year to take another job outside the Troup County School System.
“I’ve spent my entire life at Troup High School. I’ve been in education — this is the end of my 24th year— and every minute has been spent here. I’m a proud alumnus, so literally 28 years, which is way more than half of my life,” Watts said.
“The majority of my life has been here and at some point, everybody’s got to leave home,” Watts said. “I’ve got a few years left until I can retire, and it’s the opportunity to do something different and have a little bit of a different scenery.”
Watts said she was leaving to take a position with the Warm Springs Vocational Rehabilitation Center to work with her former boss and mentor Chip Medders.
Watts will have a very similar role in her new job. It’s still going to be in education, she said.
“Essentially, I’ll be over the instructional programs, the teachers, the students, so everything in regard to the student’s education and ultimately their academic success and work toward post-secondary success,” Watts said.
School Superintendent Brian Shumate said he was sad to see Watts go, but he wishes her well.
“We hate to see her go. Niki is certainly a loyal, Troup High School person and graduate. She’s an alumna. I think she spent her entire career here as a teacher, assistant principal or principal,” Shumate said.
“We appreciate everything she’s done to build school spirit here, and we certainly wish her well. She will be missed,” he said.
Watts will leave as as a beloved principal for Troup High, having served as principal of the school since 2018 and three years as assistant principal under Medders.
Watts graduated from Troup in 1995. She later worked for the school for 14 years as an English teacher after graduating from LaGrange College.
“The kids love her, but the job of principal these days is really tough. I’ve done it and many of our folks have done it, and I understand when people want to make a career change. That’s what she has done,” Shumate said. “We wish her well and appreciate all her service to Troup County Schools.”
Watts said she will also be a Troup Tiger at heart.
“I’m always going to be a tiger, always going to be a tiger fan. I’ll be back to check in on the kids and cheer them on from the sidelines as I always have. It was just time to branch out,” Watts said.