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Schools fill principal positions

By Michael Butler

On Friday, the Tallassee Board of Education approved the hiring of new principals Chet Stewart and Tim Collier. Stewart will be at Tallassee High School. Collier takes over at Southside Middle School.

THS principal Matt Coker and SMS principal Micah Cook are retiring from the system. Coker served eight years at the high school. Cook spent three at the middle school.

"Because of the way the school year ended, I was not able to properly conclude the year," Cook said. "My family and I are so appreciative of our time among the good people of Tallassee. We're going to miss so many people. I sure am going to miss the wonderful students and staff at Southside. I will always have a warm place in my heart for the people of Tallassee."

"What an honor to serve the community for eight years," said Coker. "It's truly been my dream job, but after 25 years in public education it's just time to move on and try something different."


Stewart and Collier are no strangers to Tallassee. Stewart has been the assistant principal at THS since 2007. Collier began his career at Southside in 1998.

Collier is a 1989 graduate of Tallassee. He has 22 years of experience in education, 12 as a teacher and coach at the middle school level. He has nine years of administrative experience, the past four of those at Eclectic Elementary School.

Stewart's career in education began in 1996 at Millbrook Middle School. He also taught at Wetumpka Junior High and Wetumpka High School. He coached as well including heading up the basketball program at WHS.

Superintendent Wade Shipman headed up the hiring committee that included five school personnel. There were more than 30 candidates for the high school job. Over 50 applied for the middle school slot. Some applied for both.

"I would like to thank Mr. Shipman and each board member for giving me the opportunity to lead Tallassee High School. This is truly an honor and I am deeply grateful," Stewart said. "As principal at THS, my goal is to serve the faculty, support staff and students to the best of my ability everyday. Go Tigers!"

"I am very excited to have been selected as the new principal of Southside Middle School. It is truly an honor to become a part of the SMS family," Collier added. " I have heard great things about the faculty and staff at SMS and am eager to return to the place where I began my educational career. My main priority will be to put our teachers in the best possible position to ensure student success and provide the necessary support to accomplish our goals."

Collier and Stewart officially take over the positions on July 1.

"We've made improvements in the system with our accountability scores each of the last three years," Shipman said. "We'd like to continue to move that needle forward. That falls on the shoulders of our new leaders of those two schools."