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Rainey named new MJHS principal

Leigh Anne Rainey

Leigh Anne Rainey has been named the new principal of Mt. Juliet High School. Wilson County Schools made the announcement on Friday, May 11. She will take over after current principal Mel Brown retires at the end of June.

Rainey has been the principal at Mt. Juliet Middle School since January 2017. During her 22 years in education, she has taught science and been an administrator in multiple districts in Tennessee and Arkansas.

A graduate of Franklin High School, she received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from University of Tennessee at Martin and her master’s degree in instruction and curriculum leadership from the University of Memphis.

Though she is the current middle school principal, she said her comfort zone has always been high school. She was previously the executive principal at Jonesboro High School in Arkansas. Her time at MJMS, however, has given her a new perspective for the foundation of high school learning.

“It has really driven home the point to me that the middle schools and the high school have got to work together seamlessly in order for the child to have a true 6-12 education experience,” she said. “If you don’t have those two pieces working together very closely, there’s a lot of gaps.”

She said the middle and high schools must ensure a smooth transition for students moving forward in their learning. According to Rainey, she and Brown have already been working toward that goal, and she will continue doing so with the new MJMS principal.

Rainey said she is excited to return to a high school setting.

“It’s a fabulous school, and I’m excited about the opportunity to step in and see how far we can take it,” she said.

The facilities, students and faculty, she said, make it an experience she has never had as an administrator, and she is looking forward to it.

Because plans for the next school year have already been set in motion, she said she will spend much of her first year at MJHS listening and learning from students, parents and faculty.

“It’s their school, not mine,” she said. “I’m their steward.”

Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Donna Wright said that while it’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved principal like Mel Brown, she’s pleased to have someone who has the experience and knowledge of our community to continue building on the strong foundation that’s already been laid at Mt. Juliet High School.

“Leigh Ann has developed such a strong rapport with our students and parents, even in the short time she’s been in our district,” said Wright. “I have no doubt that it will serve her well, as she transitions to the high school.  We’re truly blessed to have someone who already lives in our community, with the skills and experience to help make this a seamless transition.”

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