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Tonya Hawkins selected as next AES principal

Tonya Hawkins selected as Arlington Elementary's next principal
Posted on 12/04/2020
Tonya Hawkins, a 24-year educator and former Arlington Elementary School Teacher of the Year recipient, is returning to the place she called home for seven years, only this time as the school’s principal. On Friday, ACS Superintendent Jeff Mayo selected Hawkins as Arlington Elementary’s next principal, replacing Principal Anna Jones, who will retire at the end of the semester.

“Ms. Hawkins is innovative and enthusiastic while always keeping student success at the center,” Mayo said. “One of the things I admire the most about Ms. Hawkins is that she is a relationship builder. She has the know-how of analyzing student data, helping grow student achievement and all of the things a principal must possess, but it’s her commitment to creating a welcoming and positive culture that will inspire the staff and students at Arlington Elementary to be their best.”

Since 2015, Hawkins has worked as an administrator in the ACS District Office, serving as the Academic and Development Support Specialist from 2015-2019 and presently Accountability Supervisor. At District Office, she led with a student-centered focus by helping teachers grow as educators through professional development and data analysis, and in 2019, she was selected as the ACS Supervisor of the Year. Among her many administrative duties at District Office, Hawkins oversaw the District & School Improvement Plans, managed state testing logistics and implementation, coordinated and led professional developments for teachers and administered TEAM, which helps teachers craft their skills in the classroom.

Hawkins, who lives in Arlington and had two children graduate from Arlington High School, began her Arlington career in 2008 as a 4th grade teacher at AES. During her seven years there, she became recognized statewide for her teaching skills and initiatives in the classroom. In 2015, she was named the AES and ACS Teacher of the Year, Southwest Core Regional Teacher of the Year for Grades K-4 and a state finalist for the Tennessee Teacher of the Year. She began teaching in 1996 at Immanuel Lutheran School, followed by Altruria Elementary in 1998 until she joined Arlington Elementary in 2008.

“Ms. Hawkins is a proven elementary instructional practitioner with a solution-minded approach,” Mayo continued. “Her strong leadership skills and administrative experience across the K-12 spectrum, coupled with her incredible work ethic, will equip her to continue the tradition of excellence at AES.”

Hawkins said she’s excited to return to AES to help lead from the ground floor.

“I think the thing that I’m most excited about is working directly with teachers again and being back in the building with the students,” Hawkins said. “This is a unique opportunity for me to come in mid-year because the foundation has been laid. I have the benefit of coming in and observing for a time to see how we can continue to improve on the excellence that has come to be expected at AES.”

“It’s bittersweet for me to see Ms. Jones leave AES,” she continued. “I taught at AES under her leadership while she was assistant principal. I’ve gained so much in the time that I’ve been away, but it’s like I’m going back home. I’m excited to give even more back to this district in a different capacity.”