Robbie Winters named principal at Michigan Avenue School

Posted 7/22/17

Bradley County Schools will be welcoming one new school principal for the 2017-18 school year.

Robbie Winters, who until recently was an assistant principal at Ocoee Middle School, has taken …

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Robbie Winters named principal at Michigan Avenue School

Robbie Winters
Robbie Winters

Bradley County Schools will be welcoming one new school principal for the 2017-18 school year.

Robbie Winters, who until recently was an assistant principal at Ocoee Middle School, has taken over the helm at Michigan Avenue Elementary School. He took over for Angela Lawson, who is now the seventh-grade assistant principal at Ocoee Middle.

“It was a good fit for both of them,” said Dr. Linda Cash, director of Bradley County Schools. “They are both very talented leaders.”

Lawson has actually served as a professional mentor to Winters. They were paired together for the inaugural class of the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership last year. This statewide professional development program trains would-be school principals and pairs each participant with an existing principal for his or her district.

Now, Winters is getting the chance to put his principal training to work sooner than he expected. It wasn’t until the 2016-17 school year ended in May that he knew there would be a chance to be a school principal this coming year.

Still, he said he was “really excited” about the opportunity. Winters noted his first order of business upon becoming principal of Michigan Avenue was having 20-minute meetings with each of the teachers to learn all about the school.

“I met with over 30 teachers, and we had really good discussions on where we go from here,” Winters said. “This is a great place; I’m excited to be part of it.”

Though he is new to Michigan Avenue, the new principal is no stranger to Bradley County education.

After earning a bachelor’s in history education from Lee University, Winters began working as a history teacher at Lake Forest Middle School. After 15 years at Lake Forest, he accepted an assistant principal position at Ocoee Middle. Along the way, he also earned two master’s degrees — one in education from Lee University and one in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

His job at Michigan Avenue represents his first time working at an elementary school. Still, he said many of the goals of a middle school leader and an elementary school leader are the same.

“The main difference I see is how we should approach instruction,” Winters said. “These are small kids we’re talking about; we have to make school really fun to help them learn to enjoy learning.”

Winters also explained he and Lawson have been in frequent discussion over how things work at their respective schools, so they are able to compare notes.

He added Michigan Avenue is already a “well-oiled machine,” thanks to Lawson and all the teachers, who he said “work incredibly hard” to help students learn.

“This place already runs well,” Winters said. “There’s not a whole lot of things a new principal can do to improve it. Our main focus will be building on our successes.”

Winters comes from a family of educators. His parents, Bill and Karen Winters, both taught locally for many years.

He is married to Amber Winters, instructional coach at Black Fox Elementary School, and is also raising children of his own. The couple has three children: rising Black Fox third-grader Lilly and twins Luke and Holt, who start kindergarten at Black Fox this fall.

While he followed family into the education field, Winters said he also considers school leadership to be his “calling.” He is counting himself “blessed” to be able to live out this calling this fall.



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