Strains of the “Mission Impossible” theme song and the roar of a nearby train filled the muggy air Wednesday afternoon at Ardmore High School as the marching band rehearsed its halftime show in a parking lot with yardage markers, and the football team lined up for pictures at Cooper Field.
First-year head football coach Clint Legg, his wife Chasity Legg and their two young daughters were among those posing for athletic program photos, as the school preps for the first day of school Aug. 19 and the football opener Aug. 30 at county archrival Elkmont.
Ardmore Principal Tommy Hunter hired Chasity Legg in July as a sixth-grade teacher and the new varsity volleyball coach after the school board approved her transfer from East Limestone High School in July. Hunter promoted her husband, an assistant on former head coach Shannon Brown’s staff, to helm the Tigers program last spring when Brown resigned to take an administrative position in Huntsville.
Ardmore math teacher Curtis Glass, a varsity girls basketball assistant on Kim Walker’s staff, rose to head coach after Walker departed for Priceville High School in Morgan County.
Hunter also promoted Ardmore sixth-grade teacher Dana Rhinehart — approved by the board July 9 — to fill the vacancy left by former assistant principal Brad Lewis, who was hired as Johnson Elementary principal in June.
Hunter said on Wednesday he received approximately 70 applications, and that Rhinehart emerged as the top choice due to her instructional and curriculum background.
“I screened through the applications and read through the resumes and qualifications to narrow the search to six finalists, and then we had a committee of staff members — teacher and support personnel — that interviewed those six,” said Hunter, who reviewed the committee’s feedback and recommended Rhinehart to the superintendent and the school board for final approval. “We interviewed two people on staff at Ardmore and the other four were not on staff. I try to find the best person for the job, whether it’s in-house or not, but it’s certainly always good when the best person is already on your staff and can be promoted.”
Rhinehart, a 1985 Ardmore graduate with two sons that graduated from Ardmore, said on Wednesday she has a fresh perspective on student learning after going back to school to earn a second master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Alabama. She also has a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama, where she met her husband, Grady, and finished her undergraduate studies.
“My main point during the interview process is that I want to help move Ardmore forward and focus on the quality of education and instruction that our students are receiving,” said Rhinehart, who has 21 years of teaching experience and has taught every level from K-6. “We’re seeing a lot of changes at Ardmore, and it’s an exciting time for the school community to see the new ideas coming. Our students have a lot to look forward to, with a lot of positive changes.”