New Holston Valley principal, South band director appointed

Rick Wagner • Jul 25, 2018 at 7:55 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — A familiar face as a former elementary school principal in the Sullivan South High School zone is now a middle school principal in the East High zone.

And the South zone has a new high school band director most recently from Mississippi. Both appointments are for the 2018-19 school year.

Veteran Sullivan County administrator Kim Harvey is the new principal at Holston Valley Middle School in the East zone, according to a July 10 posting announced on the Sullivan County Schools website, www.sullivank12.net/.

The former Rock Springs Elementary principal had a career of more than 30 years with Sullivan County Schools, followed by a stint as principal at Kingsport’s Sevier Middle School  for 2 and a half years before retiring in early 2015. Harvey replaces Jess Lockhart, who became the graduation coach at East.

Heath Hopper, according to another posting on July 5, has been appointed the band director at South, taking the place of Kenneth Carrico, who left the system for a job as band director at Farragut High School in Knox County.

If all goes as planned, this will be the last year for Holston Valley since the new Sullivan East Middle School near East High is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, marking the combination of Holston Valley, Bluff City Middle and the middle school portion of Mary Hughes School, a K-8 facility.

Likewise, South will be in operation two more years if the new West Ridge High School off Exit 63 of Interstate 81 opens as scheduled in the fall of 2020. Students from the South, North and much of the Central zones are to be sent to West Ridge.

According to the Sullivan South band website (sullivansouthrebelband.com):

Hopper is in his 19th year of teaching as a band director, including stops in Georgia for five years and Mississippi for 13 years before coming to South.

He has served as director of music for Hernando First Presbyterian Church for the past two years. Heath holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a master of music education from Florida State University. After graduating from South Panola High School in Batesville, Miss., he marched with Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from 1993 to 1996.

His accomplishments with the Phantom Regiment are being named the euphonium soloist for the 1995 show and winning the first DCI World Championship with the group in 1996. After aging out in 1996, he toured with groups such as Magic of Orlando, Phantom Regiment, Spirit of Atlanta, Atlanta Corpsvets and Bluecoats. He is a drill writer and consultant for various high schools and indoor groups throughout the Southeast.

He has been married to Varina for 18 years, and they have one daughter, Samara who is 11. They have two dogs named Olive and Lucy.

Other recent Sullivan County appointments include expanding the duties of Sullivan Middle School Principal Josh Davis to Sullivan North High. North, which has been sold for $20 million to Kingsport for use as a city middle school, is scheduled to close in the spring of 2020 and open as the new Sevier Middle School in the fall of 2021.

Davis replaced Brent Palmer, a former South band director who left as North High principal to become high school curriculum and instruction supervisor in the central office. Also, former Central High Assistant Aaron Flanery has become career technical education/early postsecondary facilitator.

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