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Isaac Williams (left) and Reyes taped to the wall

Reyes leaving TES for alma mater

By Michael Butler

After three and a half years in Tallassee, Dr. Jose "J" Reyes is departing from Tallassee Elementary School as principal for the superintendent's position at Scottsboro.

"We're excited about going. That's where I grew up," he said. "We moved there in 1976 and I spent my entire kindergarten through 12th grade there. My parents are still there. My brother is still there in Jackson County. I still have a lot of friends there. I really believe the Lord was working in all this and providing these opportunities.

"It's bittersweet. We've made a lot of friends in Tallassee. The best adult friends that we've ever had have been in Tallapoosa and Elmore Counties. The superintendent's position has always been a goal of mine. There's always superintendents' jobs open, but I have not applied for any of those. (Scottsboro) was really the only one in this time that we were interested in."

Reyes (far left) with Eddie Gantt and Terrel Brown during Reptile Day

Reyes' first official day in Scottsboro will be on Sept. 5. There have been numerous thank yous with farewells from faculty, parents and of course - students who saw their principal hug a python and kiss a snake among other things.

"We're about academics and learning but if you can't have fun, you need to find something else to do. We're about building relationships. A kid just needs to know that somebody loves them, and that's what we try to do."

Kissing the Pig

There have been several improvements during Reyes' tenure at TES including sprucing up the facility with new paint in the halls and bathrooms, playground and lunchroom upgrades.

"We were able to get a new security system," Reyes added. "We're able to control who comes in and out. It's not that we want to keep people out. We just want to make sure we control things."

Reyes' wife Leslie and two sons; Rio and Gannon, will also be making the transition. Rio is an 11th grader. Gannon is in the ninth grade.

"They'll be fine. If they ever get sad, mamaw and papaw will take them out and get them something to eat and they'll feel better."

Reflecting on his time in Tallassee, Reyes is pleased with how he's leaving the elementary school.

"It's easy to be successful when you have good people working for you. It wasn't all about me. I was just a small part of what happened. The teachers that worked there, it was always in them. I and they had to come together and the magic just started happening. We love those folks and will miss them. They're a great bunch of people and will be just fine."

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