Tracy to take helm at AHS

AHS to welcome new principal for coming school year
Posted on 05/01/2018
AHS to welcome new principal for coming school year

When Clay Tracy was a student at Kingwood High School, he was neither a struggling nor a star student. “I fell through the cracks in a sense,” he said. “There were so many students that there were plenty of days nobody would really notice whether I was there or not.” 

No doubt that’s one of the reasons Tracy, the man just chosen to be principal at Athens High School in the coming school year, has a strong desire for all the students he serves “to feel valued.” 

“I don’t know that Athens could have made a better choice,” said Brad Koskelin, assistant superintendent of human resources at Mabank ISD. Koskelin worked closely with Tracy for four years when Koskelin was the principal at Mabank High School and Tracy was assistant principal. “They’re going to be very pleased with him and the job he does.” 

Athens ISD Superintendent Blake Stiles said it was his goal to find just the right person who will continue to advance the major gains made at AHS over the last several years, as well as provide stability in coming years. 

“The members of the search committee and I all feel very enthusiastic about having Mr. Tracy join the district,” said Stiles. “We had a very strong field of candidates, and I believe he’s the person best equipped to take over a campus that has been singled out as distinguished by the state for several years in a row now.” 

Tracy will replace current AHS Principal Ginger Morrison, who is moving to the district administration office, effective July 1, where she will replace two directors’ positions: the director of federal programs and student resources, and the director of educational services. 

“It was our goal to have Mrs. Morrison ultimately come to the District Support Center,” said Stiles. “The transition is happening sooner than anticipated because of the retirement this school year of two directors. Mrs. Morrison is uniquely qualified to serve in their places.” 

Additionally, as of July 1, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Janie Sims will become the Deputy Superintendent of Schools for Athens ISD, and Curriculum and Instruction Director Jami Ivey will become the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability. 

Incoming principal Tracy describes himself as, first and foremost, a servant leader. “I try to provide the support that students, teachers and staff need to be successful,” he said. 

Tracy and his wife of 14 years, Kyra, currently have a home in Gun Barrel City, where they reside with four daughters, ages 2, 6, 10 and 11. In both his personal and professional lives, Tracy points to his integrity as an essential strength. 

“I won’t sacrifice that for anything,” he said. “If you don’t have integrity and morals to fall back on, there’s no foundation to build on.” 

Though he grew up in the Houston area in a decidedly metropolitan school system, he said he was always a “rural guy” at heart, spending every spare moment he could outdoors, hunting, fishing or growing something. In fact, before turning to education, Tracy’s initial career path was in the field of agriculture, even serving for a couple of years in the early 2000s as an extension agent for Henderson County. 

In 2007, he took a job at Eustace Middle School as a science teacher and has served since then in a variety of roles, including assistant principal at Trinidad Middle School and Mabank High School, and principal at both Kemp Junior High and, where he is currently serving, Canton Junior High. 

“Kids always come first with him. He’s a man of integrity. He’s also a guy that likes to get input from all stakeholders, particularly when he’s gone someplace new,” said Koskelin. “People warm quickly to him. He’s just a good guy with a friendly, open-door policy.”

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