Heather Byrd, assistant principal at Eagleton Elementary School, will become interim principal of Prospect Elementary School after the winter break.

Byrd, who previously taught at Prospect, will fill the spot left by the abrupt resignation last week of Prospect Principal John Parham.

Blount County Schools this week reassigned Parham as a teacher at the alternative school program but gave no explanation for Parham’s Nov. 20 letter announcing his immediate resignation as principal. His resignation letter referenced an unspecified “... in light of recent circumstances.”

BCS Director Rob Britt on Monday named former Principal Alicia Lail to serve as interim principal at Prospect until Dec. 19, when the winter break begins. Lail retired in 2016 as principal at Union Grove Middle School.

“Dr. Byrd’s previous work as a teacher at Prospect Elementary, combined with her leadership qualities and previous professional experiences, make her the right person to fill this important position,” Britt said in a statement Wednesday. “Additionally, her familiarity with the Prospect community should make the transition much easier for both students and staff.”

Byrd is a Heritage High School graduate with 15 years of teaching experience. She twice was named a Teacher of the Year, for 2006 in Murray County, Ga., and for 2010 in Bradley County.

Byrd spent seven years as an elementary teacher in Georgia before becoming an elementary instructional coach and English language arts coordinator in Bradley County. When she returned to Blount County, she taught second grade at Prospect before becoming the assistant principal at Eagleton Elementary in 2017.

She was a member of the 2018 Governors Academy for School Leadership program, under which Middlesettlements Elementary Principal April Herron served as her mentor.

Byrd earned a doctorate in education from Carson-Newman University, an educational specialist degree in school leadership and master’s degree in educational leadership from Tennessee Technological University, and a bachelor’s degree in child development from Maryville College.

She will begin her new role on Jan. 2.

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