Kingsport City Schools Announces Administrative Appointments for 2017-18

Published on June 22, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Kingsport City Schools has announced two district administrative appointments, effective July 1, 2017. 

Suzanne Zahner has been named principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary. Zahner most recently served as principal of the Spencer School in the Middletown School District (Connecticut) and principal of a K-8 school in Salem, CT. She began her career in Baltimore County Public Schools (Maryland), where she taught 5th – 8th grade focused on reading and reading instruction. Additionally, she has served as an assistant principal at Deer Park Middle Magnet School (Maryland) and Chatsworth School, an elementary school in northern Baltimore County.

Mrs. Zahner brings to Kingsport excellent experiences in a variety of school settings, which will result in organizational learning for KCS. She has worked in both very large and small school systems and in schools with a great deal of diversity,” said KCS Superintendent Dr. Lyle Ailshie. “All along the way, she has demonstrated the ability to overcome obstacles and build on the strengths of students and school culture. Building a world-class school system starts with people, and we have added another outstanding educator to our ranks, of which our community will greatly benefit.”

Zahner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Elon College (North Carolina), and a Masters of Education in Education with an emphasis on reading from Johns Hopkins University.

“I am so excited to be part of the KCS team and am thrilled to be working with the great families, staff, and students at Lincoln Elementary,” said Zahner. “Being a part of such a great district with so many positive elements in place to support student success is a wonderful opportunity.  I can't wait to get the year started and see what we can do together to continue the positive things happening at Lincoln!”

Dr. Kelli Seymour has been named principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary. Dr. Seymour was recently named interim assistant principal for Robinson Middle School where she had most recently served as associate principal. Prior to Dr. Seymour’s current assignment, she was a teacher with Hamblen County Schools and Johnson City Schools, and also served as a Reward School Ambassador for the Tennessee Department of Education.

“I have enjoyed seeing Dr. Seymour’s growth since coming to our school district,” said Ailshie. “She has distinguished herself by serving as an associate principal and has sought out various leadership opportunities in the school district. This summer, she has served as the director of the middle school STREAM camp and led the work to engage students in active project-based learning. The Roosevelt Elementary School community will be excited about the knowledge and passion Dr. Seymour brings.”

Seymour holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Carson-Newman College, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Carson-Newman College, an Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University, and a Doctor of Education in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement from Middle Tennessee State University.

“I am very excited to be part of the Roosevelt team and to serve the students and families of Roosevelt Elementary,” said Seymour. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, parents, and community partners to provide a world-class educational experience for our students.” 

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 and a non-traditional school; with total enrollment over 7,100 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FMThe Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).