By Jean Cole
Newspaper reporters cover a lot of meetings, to the point that such gatherings often seem strangely alike.
So, when applause erupts at one of them, reporters wake up and take notice.
As Athens school board members approved the hiring of Scott Sutton as principal of Athens Elementary School last week, applause erupted in the boardroom, a rare occurrence.
Sutton, 41, apparently already has a lot of supporters, possibly because he is a Limestone County native who made his home here even while serving as assistant principal at Madison Cross Roads Elementary School in Toney for the past six years.
Sutton was hired to replace longtime Ronnie Poole, who retired after serving as principal since 1996.
The Elkmont native is already hard at work at the Athens Elementary School building at 515 N. Madison St., if you want to meet him.
“I’m already here, and I have been trying to set up times to meet with faculty and staff to get to know them and build a rapport before the school year begins,” Sutton said.
Students will see him when they walk through the doors Aug. 19 for the start of the new school year.
Sutton graduated from Elkmont High School in 1989, then attended Calhoun Community College and the University of North Alabama. He obtained his teaching certificate from Athens State University and his master’s degree from UNA. He began his teaching career 17 years ago at Harvest Elementary and his administrative career at Madison Cross Roads in 2007.
“I’ve grown up and lived in Limestone County my whole life, and to get back to Limestone County and the city of Athens means a lot to me — it made this job very appealing,” Sutton said. “I have heard great things about he school, faculty and staff here, and I want to meet and get to know them all.”
Sutton and his wife, Stephanie, who is a teacher at Athens Bible School, have two children, Hayden, a senior at Athens Bible, and Mary Kaitlyn, a junior at Athens Bible.
When not working, Sutton likes to watch football games and fish.