Hollis promoted to assistant principal


George Lefkowicz

New Assistant Principal Tekeshia Hollis talks to students at lunch about upcoming school events .

Standing on the C200 hallway during the seven-minute transition period after every class Tekeshia Hollis maintains order as students rush to get to class. Enforcing some of the school’s new policies such as an earbud ban are brand new job requirements to the newest assistant principal and former math instructional coach.

Hollis’ assumption of  the new role right before school started on Aug. 1 was a shock to many students. Dr. David Propst effectively retired on July 31 to take a principal position in Kuwait, leaving Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman scrambling to find a replacement.  Luckily, Dr. Bockman did not have to look far to find a qualified candidate with a strong educational background.

“She has an educational background from Georgia Tech and [Georgia] State, and I thought that her strong educational background was very important,” Dr. Bockman said.

Hollis’ experience as a math teacher and a math coach at different Atlanta high schools like Carver and Grady, gave her a large variety of experience on the high school level.

“When you’re bringing someone on at the last minute, when the year has already started, it’s important to be able to bypass the ramping up of school knowledge that an outsider would require,” Dr. Bockman said.

One of the most favorable traits for Hollis becoming the new assistant principal was her completion of the year-long Aspiring Assistant Principals Program run through the district.

“She had completed that program and was, therefore, on a list of possible assistant principals that are rated very high,” Dr. Bockman said. “Because of this, I put her in that position because I felt that she was the best qualified overall and that she had the knowledge at Grady.”

The educational field wasn’t Hollis’s first choice of a profession, but with time she began to appreciate it.

“My first major was mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech,” Hollis said. “After I began teaching, I enjoyed it and decided to pursue it full time.”

Due to Dr. Propst’s  sudden departure, many duties among the assistant principals changed. Because of her background as the instructional coach, Hollis is in charge of instruction, which means she still plans a lot of the professional development and is still involved with the teachers.

No matter how prepared someone is for a new job or how comfortable they are in the environment, there is usually a difficult adjustment period and Hollis is no exception.

“Because it happened so quickly, trying to get work life balance and trying to meet all demands of the job like you do with any other job,” Hollis said. “Demands are different [as an assistant principal] because you’re interacting with the entire population —community, parents.”

One of the lasting legacies of Dr. Propst was his famous saying “You are wrong,” which he bellowed down the halls and in the courtyard, so it appears Hollis will have to work on getting a slogan of her own.

“I currently don’t have a slogan like Propst,” Hollis said. “I think it developed over time from him, so ask me in a couple of years.”