Brighton Elementary School has a new principal this year: LaToya Avery.

Avery grew up in Tipton County and currently resides in Munford with her family.

She has spent more than 20 years in education in Tipton County. As a teacher she taught at Drummonds Elementary and worked as a school counselor at Austin Peay Elementary. She served as vice principal at Drummonds Elementary for several years. She has bachelor’s and master’s degree, both in elementary education, and also has her administrative license and a counseling license.

Last year Avery was a member of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, a one-year fellowship program for Tennessee assistant principals to increase their leadership capacity.

Launched in 2016, GASL is a partnership between the state, Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development and local school districts to cultivate future school leaders and improve school effectiveness and student performance.

“GASL training gave me confidence in my abilities as a leader and lead to me applying for my current job,” said Avery.

Each assistant principal selected for the GASL program was paired with an experienced principal mentor and Avery was paired with Brighton Elementary’s former principal and now Tipton County School Elementary Supervisor Brooke Shipley. Her pairing with Shipley helped her train uniquely for leadership at Brighton Elementary.

“It feels great to be a part of the Brighton Elementary School family. The transition has been smooth thanks to the help of the staff at Brighton,” Avery said. “The students and teachers have been good to me. They’ve made me feel like one of them from the very start.”

“We are happy to have her here,” said Tamika Poindexter, one of the assistant principals at Brighton Elementary.

“My goal is to focus on building relationships with students, parents and teachers,” Avery said. “I want to be the type of leader who makes decisions centered on our students and what’s best for them.”

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email jireland@covingtonleader.com.​