By BECKY BRINKERHOFF
Dr. Ken Jarnagin is not a new face around Spain Park; however, in the administrative office he is. Spain Park has found a new principal in the previous SPHS band director, and it seems that students have taken a liking to him.
Some seniors can even be heard complaining that the fun principal arrived just as they were about to leave. After all, the personable Jarnagin takes a tremendous effort in getting to know his student body on a personal level. He takes learning about the students seriously; every morning one can see him outside the library, podium and all, chatting with students and faculty.
“We are in the people business,” Jarnigan said. “It is important to know each other on a personal as well as a professional level”.
Jarnigan finds great strength in the student body and the faculty at Spain Park. “Every school has similarities, but what brings great schools to the front are the individual students and teachers,” he said.
He believes that teachers have an impact on their students beyond the classroom and that each day in the classroom provides the opportunity to create stories for the future. “Every teacher has a story about a teacher in their past that has made an impact on their lives,” Jarnigan said.
As a past band director, Jarnagin knows the importance of extracurricular activities.
While some might separate the arts from the athletics and the academic from the extracurricular, he sees that the three are all connected. This connection is found through their ability to transform a student into a well-rounded, strong adult. Clubs and activities are crucial to a strong academic core.
Jarnigan came to the Hoover City Schools in the summer of 2007 as the system’s new chief academic officer. For the 2010-2011 school year, he began a new role as Hoover City Schools’ fine arts director. He will replace principal Chris Shaw, who is now the school system’s director of planning.
Jarnagin has won several educational awards throughout the years, most recently being named the 2007 Principal of the Year for the State of Tennessee, awarded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
As for the future, with Jarnagin leading the charge, the school can look forward to new initiatives that will focus around the utilizing Spain Park’s already strong resources. He looks forward to discovering more about the people and programs that make up SPHS.
Becky Brinkerhoff is a senior at Spain Park High School.