By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
Dr. Takisha Ferguson first entered the teaching profession because she loved the content.
She had majored in English and minored in French at Middle Tennessee State University and spent some time in another field before transitioning into an educator role at East Nashville Magnet School, where she taught both French and English.
“I quickly realized it had to be more than just the content and then I fell in love with the kids,” Ferguson said of her evolution as a teacher. “I wanted to see them experience the world.”
Ferguson — now an educator and administrator of 11 years — has been named the next principal of Smyrna Middle School.
Director of Schools Bill Spurlock cited Ferguson’s experience and serving with distinction at multiple schools.
“She is a strong instructional leader and will be a solid principal for Smyrna Middle School,” Spurlock said. “There has been a lot of transition at the school the past few years, and we want someone in the principal role who will be there for a while to provide both stability and consistency.”
Smyrna Middle School has experienced two principal changes in the past two years because of promotions, Spurlock explained. The most recent principal, Dr. Theowauna Hatchett, has been named the new principal of LaVergne High School. The previous principal, Steve Luker, became the principal of Rockvale High School, which opened last August.
Ferguson has served as an assistant principal at Oakland Middle School for the past three years, after serving as an academic intervention coach at the school.
Prior to Oakland, she taught English for three years at LaVergne High School, where she was also recognized as Teacher of the Year.
Ferguson wants to “open doors” for students.
“I believe educators, above all, should have the mindset that we are providing opportunities for children and making them successful later in life and out in the workforce,” Ferguson said, describing her philosophy. “It starts in school — providing those opportunities for kids, helping them see their potential and helping to create opportunities for kids.”
In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Ferguson also earned her master’s at MTSU and her doctorate in administration and supervision from the University of the Cumberlands.
She wants to build on the past successes of Smyrna Middle and focus on high quality in all aspects, she said.
“Smyrna is very rich in tradition and I plan on continuing in that tradition, definitely picking up where Dr. Hatchett left off,” Ferguson said. “Academically and athletically, I have plans to improve the school overall. I want to focus on English language learners and ensure their needs are met, making sure we drive the school into excellence.”