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Shannon Abraham named new AHS principal

shannon AbrahamArlington Community Schools is pleased to announce that Mr. Shannon Abraham, current principal at Bartlett City Schools’ 9th Grade Academy, has been named principal at Arlington High School.

“Mr. Abraham is the total package,” Superintendent Jeff Mayo said. “The role of the high school principal has changed over the years – you must now be adept with rigorous academics, have a deep knowledge of both college-level and career-focused programming, all while being entuned to the extra-curricular needs of your students. Mr. Abraham’s skillset manages to find the perfect balance. He’s a great communicator and has the proven ability to build trust and relationships along the way that has enhanced his ability to lead.”

“One of the things that attracted me to ACS is that I know the history of success in terms of academics and extra-curriculars,” Abraham said. “My children actually attended Arlington Middle, so I know first-hand how this district has positioned its students and stakeholders to see a lot of success. I want to be a part of that tradition.”

“I’m someone that will always try to set a positive atmosphere, culture and learning environment,” he continued. “My goal is to build leaders, especially student leaders, and to do that, we have to set a positive environment from the top so everyone feels engrained in the culture.”

Mr. Abraham replaces Principal Chris Duncan, who recently accepted a position in the district office. A long-time and well-known educator in Shelby County, Mr. Abraham has led Bartlett’s 9th Grade Academy as principal since July 2020 and was immediately tasked with navigating his school through the pandemic and learning loss that followed. Under his leadership, the academy developed a new intervention plan to help identify students who needed additional academic focus. Simultaneously, he oversaw a multi-million-dollar renovation project, recruited highly-qualified teachers and kept his focus on student success by imbedding a curriculum that focused on developing student leaders.

Prior to that, he spent six years as Bartlett High School’s vice principal, a position in which he was tasked with increasing academic performance. During his stint as VP, Bartlett High increased its AP and Dual Enrollment offerings and partnerships, saw impressive gains in average ACT scores by offering additional prep courses and weekend workshops and boosted its graduation rate from 80 to 98 percent. During his 23-year career, he’s also been an assistant principal, Chemistry and Biology teacher and the boys basketball head coach at Bolton High School.

Mayo said Mr. Abraham displayed a calm, yet confident and knowledgeable, demeanor during the panel interview, which included district office administrators, an AHS teacher and a parent representative. “Mr. Abraham’s outstanding reputation and high level of respect in every position he has held throughout his career was evident to our interview panel,” Mayo continued. “He’s the perfect person to lead our comprehensive high school to the next level while building upon our many current successes.”

“Immediately coming into this position, I want to observe, assess and get to know people,” Abraham said. “I want to solicit feedback from all stakeholders to see how the culture of the school feels and how people are interacting with each other. As educational leaders, we are tasked with continuous improvement, so I think it’s important to hear from many voices to keep moving forward.”

Mr. Abraham will officially join the ACS community as the district’s newest principal on July 1.