Former teacher takes new role as Troup High principal

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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New Troup County High School principal Chet Stewart is excited about the opportunities ahead as he takes on a new role.

He has replaced Niki Watts, who announced earlier in May that she has taken another position outside the school system.

“I spent a lot of time in prayer about whether to apply, and I asked God, ‘What do you want me to do?’ I felt like I had a really good year in the classroom, but I have principalship experience and when the job came open I applied for it, and it worked out,” Stewart said.

“My life is about service, and I want to serve in whatever capacity that I need to be in. I know we have a really good school, but I feel like there are some areas where we can improve. I want to meet with all of our staff and get their ideas and input and tweak a little bit what we got already have in place.”

Before taking the position, Stewart served as a math teacher at the school, joining the THS family during the 2022-2023 school year. He has 27 years of educational experience. Stewart served as a high school and middle school math teacher for 12 years in Wetumpka, Alabama. He then moved into school administration in 2007, serving in the roles of assistant principal and principal for a total of 16 years in Tallassee, Alabama.

Stewart said he started his first day on the job on Monday and has begun making his rounds.

“I met with the football coaches yesterday and actually spoke with the football team this morning. I had taught some of them in class so some of them know me when I was taught foundations of algebra and algebra one,” Stewart said.

As Stewart takes over said the head of the school, he said has a few goals in mind for the upcoming school year including supporting teachers where they need it, getting test scores up and holding students accountable for their actions in school.

“I want to get input from the staff before I create a vision. I want it to be a collective vision because if you don’t get their input you won’t have everybody pulling the same direction,” Stewart said.

“You always want to improve your test scores, and we did that this year with our EOC scores. For every EOC test we had, we did better than we did the previous year, and we want to continue that trend. In order to continue that, you’ve got to have the right teachers in the right spots, and the teachers have got to have the support of the administration. I want to support our teachers and get the right teachers teachingthe right classes.”

Stewart said he wants to tighten up on discipline in the school.

“I want to make sure we prepare them for life after high school. Some of them will go into the workforce, some of them will go into college, but some of their employers are not going to put up with some of the things that happen, and we have to get them ready for that,” Stewart said.

“I don’t want them to get out there in the workforce and get fired. I want to hold them accountable — part of loving somebody is that you support them, you’re there for him, but you also hold them accountable within reason.”