Myers relying on his diverse experiences in education to lead Bearden High


New Bearden principal Mr. Jason Myers greets seniors in the Dawg Lot as they leave school for the day.

Aurora Silavong, News Editor

Nestled within an office in the West Mall, there lies a colossal Pop! Funko collection of superhero figurines. This impressive collection belongs to Mr. Jason Myers, self-professed Marvel nerd and the new principal of Bearden High School.

Mr. Myers is taking over for Dr. John Bartlett, who served as head principal of Bearden for 10 years.

The spectacular figurine collection is not the only thing Mr. Myers can brag about. He boasts a diverse educational background, with teaching and administrative roles in multiple schools across East Tennessee for a number of years.

These various schools have been very different from Bearden, but his time spent at each of them has gifted him the skills he needs to succeed in his new role as Bearden’s head principal.

“The experience at each school is unique, and I think what I’ve challenged myself to do is always take something from there that I believe can make me better,” Mr. Myers said.

Mr. Myers’s career began at the high school he graduated from: Lenoir City. He was a volunteer coach for football and track and field, and this early experience solidified his desire to become a teacher. Up until he ascended to an administrative position, he continued to coach athletics, and the leadership and cooperation skills he acquired have been invaluable in his work as an educator.

His first official teaching post was as a special education teacher at Fulton High School. He was then promoted to a dean position, where he was able to focus on a smaller group of teachers and students within the community. While at Fulton, Mr. Myers gained experience with management and administrative duties, such as teacher evaluation and student discipline. These skills, he says, have been a plus as he transitioned into administration.

After serving four years at Fulton, Mr. Myers accepted the role as an assistant principal at West High School. This was the first time he formally had an administrative role at a school. He personally led West in a complete redesign of the school, shifting the focus from traditional education to a smaller, more community-oriented learning center. He worked closely with the freshman class that year to promote an inviting, open learning environment that placed priority on the satisfaction of students and teachers without sacrificing academic rigor.

While at West, Mr. Myers was able to further build upon his collaborative skills. He learned how to inspire people to cooperate and work toward a common goal.

“I’m a very team-oriented person, and I like to work with groups of people to solve problems,” Mr. Myers said. “I think that’s vital, so that was probably the most important lesson that I took from West.”

In 2016, Mr. Myers left West to become the head principal at the Knoxville Adaptive Education Center. This was a challenge, as unlike Fulton and West, KAEC has a population of approximately 100 students spread out across grades 1 through 12. This experience specifically taught him that the biggest factor in all his decisions as an administrator should be the individual needs of all his students.

“When we make decisions as school leaders, it’s the needs of students that should always be priority,” Mr. Myers said.

It will be interesting to observe how Mr. Myers will be able to apply this particular lesson here at Bearden. The student body of Bearden is more than 2,000 strong, but Mr. Myers is more than ready to rise to the challenge.

Although he is extremely capable when it comes to administrative duties, he acknowledges that he has room to grow, and it is his wish that the community help him grow as an educator. His goals include fostering greater and more open lines of communication between himself and Bearden families, as well as creating an atmosphere of open-mindedness.

Mr. Myers’s vision for Bearden is relatively simple: he wants to continue the culture of brilliance and hard work that Dr. Bartlett established. He does not want everybody to rest and stop striving for success; he wants to build upon what already exists.

“We’re the 18th (best) school in the state, according to,” Mr. Myers said. “Why not be top ten next year?

“Why not number one?”