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Tingle named new Simpsonville Elementary principal

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By Scotty McDaniel

Simpsonville Elementary -- meet the Tingles.

When its Site-Based Decision-Making Council unanimously agreed last Wednesday that Jill Tingle was a perfect fit for the position of Simpsonville Elementary Principal, that group may not have realized that she'll be heading to work with half of her family by her side.

Her children, Keegan (second grade) and Kenzie (kindergarten) will be going to the school with her.

"They will live, eat, and breathe Bobcat," Tingle said, jokingly referring to the school's mascot.

But for her, Simpsonville Elementary is just the latest of many Shelby County schools for which she has worked with during the past nine years.

She began working with Shelby County Public Schools in 2000 and has had roles at West Middle and Heritage Elementary before spending he past six years as the Students Support Specialist and Assistant Principal at Wright Elementary.

Now she says she is ready for a bigger role, taking the helm at Simpsonville.

"I'm ultimately responsibly for the academic success of this building," she said. "So it's my job to build positive relationships from the beginning."

Part of that task, she said, is getting to know the teachers, staff, and students in order to create a professional community.

"Once you have that relationship with a child or an adult, you can find how to lead them to success," she said.

Superintendent James Neihof expressed confidence that Tingle is the right person to lead the school, stating in a release that "she brings a wealth of knowledge, has a tremendous heart for kids and is prepared to focus immediately on our Five Main Things. It is my firm belief that under her leadership, Simpsonville Elementary students will achieve at record levels."

Tingle said she has been amazed by the support that has been expressed by the school and the community.

"I couldn't ask for a better beginning to a year just by the outpouring of support that I have received from the district as well as the community members," she said.

Tingle graduated from Henry County High School, then went on to earn her bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky, and later her master's degree in administration supervision from UK.

She and her husband, K.C., live in Shelbyville with their three children: Keegan, Kenzie and Karigan (not yet school age).

"I haven't been this happy since I had my last child," she said of getting her new job. "It's been an awesome experience. Truly in God's plans."

And now Simpsonville Elementary is in hers.