Kingsport City Schools Announces 2024 Principal, Supervisor, and Teachers of the Year

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Kingsport City Schools has announced its 2024 Principal, Supervisor, district-level, and building-level Teachers of the Year. Dr. Kelley Harrell was named KCS Principal of the Year and Andy Arnold was named KCS Supervisor of the Year. District-level Teachers of the Year include Catherine Hincke (Grades Pre-K–4), Lynna Bingham (Grades 5–8), and Bryan Kerns (Grades 9–12).

Dr. Kelley Harrell, Principal of Adams Elementary School, has been named district Principal of the Year. Harrell is in her 21st year as an educator, with five years at Kingsport City Schools. She previously served in Washington County Schools as principal at Ridgeview Elementary School and Boones Creek Elementary School; as an assistant principal at Boones Creek Elementary School and Boones Creek Middle School; and as a District RTI2 coordinator. Harrell was named Principal of the Year in Washington County in 2017-18. In addition, she has also served as a mentor principal in the Governor's Academy for School Leadership and the Tennessee Principal Pipeline Partnership. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), a Master's degree in Education Leadership and Administration from Tusculum College, an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from ETSU.

"It is my honor to celebrate Dr. Kelley Harrell on being selected as the Principal of the Year for Kingsport City Schools," said Kingsport City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chris Hampton. "Dr. Harrell works tirelessly to support the success of all of her students at  Adams Elementary School. In addition to being an advocate for student success, she also serves as a leader and a mentor to the educators in her school and within our district. I am confident Dr. Harrell will represent her school and our district incredibly well during the coming year and throughout the Principal of the Year process. Congratulations Dr. Harrell!"

Andy Arnold, Kingsport City Schools Chief Technology Officer, has been named district Supervisor of the Year. Arnold oversees all technology operations for the district, including all programs, services, policies, support, and programming. Throughout his 25+ year educational career, he has served as a technology teacher, an athletics coach, and for 15 years, as a director of technology and chief technology officer with Bristol (TN) City Schools. Prior to coming to Kingsport City Schools, he served as principal of Vance Middle School in Bristol (TN). Arnold’s statewide technology leadership experience includes serving as the chairman of the board of directors of the Tennessee Educational Technology Association for three years. He was awarded the ISTE Making IT Happen award in 2017 for his leadership within the organization. Arnold holds a Bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from Appalachian State University and two Master’s degrees; a Master of Arts in Education from Cumberland University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration from Union College. He also holds the Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) certification from the Consortium of School Networks (CoSN).

"Congratulations to Mr. Andy Arnold for being selected as the Supervisor of the Year for Kingsport City Schools," said Hampton. "As a former teacher and principal, Mr. Arnold understands the power and importance of using technology as a tool to support education as opposed to a replacement for education. Mr. Arnold always makes himself available to support administrators, teachers, and students and brings a common sense approach to his role in the district office. He is most deserving of this honor, and on behalf of KCS, I wish him the very best as he moves forward with this recognition and process."  

Catherine Hincke, 4th Grade Mathematics and Science Teacher at Washington Elementary School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for Grades Pre-K–4. Hincke began her career in Kingsport City Schools as an instructional assistant at Lincoln Elementary School which transitioned into a teaching position at Washington Elementary School. She is currently in her 13th year of teaching and began her teaching career as a multi-age teacher, teaching mathematics, literacy, science, and social studies to 4th and 5th grade students. She has continued her work with 4th graders teaching mathematics and science. She has previously served as a mathematics and science teacher leader for 4th grade. Hincke currently serves on the Washington Elementary Student Support team and helps create Social-Emotional Learning lessons for Washington students. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Elementary K-6 from King University.

"We are so proud of Mrs. Hincke for her dedication to ensuring that all students learn at high levels," said Washington Elementary School Principal, Heather Wolf. "She is respected among peers and families as someone who cares deeply about both the academic and social and emotional well-being of students. She is always a proud Patriot and we are so thankful for her influence on our team."

Lynna Bingham, 8th Grade History Teacher at Sevier Middle School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for Grades 5–8. With a career spanning 14 years, Bingham has devoted the last nine to Sevier Middle School. She currently serves as an 8th grade history teacher. Throughout her tenure, Bingham has exemplified leadership in various capacities, serving as a lead mentor for new teachers, technology leader, content area leader, chair of the Resilient Schools committee, sponsor of the student leadership team, and a member of the school-wide leadership team. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies K-6 from East Tennessee State University and a 4-8 Middle Grades Endorsement from Milligan University.

"Lynna Bingham embodies the essence of excellence in education," said Sevier Middle School Principal, Dr. Kyle Loudermilk. "Her recognition as Teacher of the Year for 2024 is a testament to her unwavering dedication, innovative teaching, and profound impact on the lives of her students."

Bryan Kerns, Fire Management Services and Mathematics Teacher at Dobyns-Bennett High School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for Grades 9–12. Kerns has spent 17 years of a 20 year teaching career, as an algebra 1, geometry, and algebra 2 teacher at Dobyns-Bennett High School. In addition to teaching mathematics, Kerns has created the Dobyns-Bennett Fire Program which includes the D-B Prescribed Fire team and full progression of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fire Management Services courses. Kern's unique work in building the D-B Fire Program has earned him invitations to speak at the North Carolina Prescribed Council annual meeting, the Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network annual workshop, and the Longleaf Alliance bi-annual meeting. He currently serves as president-elect of the Bays Mountain Park Association board and is the Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network Landscape Lead for the Unaka and Great Smoky Mountains Escarpment. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Tennessee Tech University and a Master's degree from Grand Canyon University.

"As a teacher of fire management services and mathematics, Mr. Kerns embodies the qualities of an exceptional educator, consistently going above and beyond to support his students and ensure their educational success," said Dobyns-Bennett High School Principal, Dr. Brian Tate. "His selfless leadership and dedication make him an invaluable asset to our school. Being a Dobyns-Bennett graduate himself, he exemplifies how the investment in a homegrown educator can influence all aspects of school success and culture."

In addition to the three district winners, 2024 individual building-level winners are:

Grades Pre-K–4
  • Sarah Hall, Palmer Early Learning Center
  • Cassie Phillips, Adams Elementary School
  • Miranda Stevens, Jackson Elementary School
  • Hannah Hughes, Johnson Elementary School
  • Trish Taylor, Kennedy Elementary School
  • Shelby Davis, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Catherine Hincke, Washington Elementary School
Grades 5–8
  • Vickie Meade, Jefferson Elementary School
  • Trevor Brooks, Lincoln Elementary School
  • Eva Pearson, Robinson Middle School
  • Ashley Peer, Robinson Middle School
  • Lynna Bingham, Sevier Middle School
  • Isaiah Spivey, Sevier Middle School
Grades 9–12
  • Camille Perkins, Cora Cox Academy
  • Aaron Gourley, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Bryan Kerns, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Cort Mills, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Cameron Phillips, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Stephanie Strickler, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Eric Vogt, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Amanda Dunham, D-B EXCEL
Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice, and an alternative learning program; with a total enrollment of over 7,900 students. 
KCS has been ranked the "#1 Best Place to Teach in Tennessee" by the 2023 NICHE Best Schools Ranking and the City of Kingsport has been voted as the "Nicest Places in America" in the October 2022 Reader's Digest.
For more information visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, or call the KCS Administrative Support Center at (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (kcsdistrict), Instagram (kcs__district), Twitter (@kcs__district), LinkedIn (kcsdistrict), and check out our YouTube Channel (@kcs__district).