Trevecca Nazarene University

Treveccans on the Move

(Written by Eugenia Harris - originally published in City Educators magazine)

Trevecca Nazarene University’s mission is to educate students for lives of leadership and service. Recent job moves by alumni of the university’s School of Education show just how well Treveccans are prepared to live such lives.

From becoming school principals, assistant principals, or deans to assuming district-level positions, many Trevecca alumni are taking the university’s commitment to leadership and service into their schools and school districts.

“We at the School of Education and at Trevecca as a whole are committed to helping our students thrive not only as students but as professionals as well,” said Dr. Alice Patterson, associate professor of education and director of the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice. “The recent moves into leadership positions by many of our graduates demonstrate that they are well-equipped and that they are respected by those in decision-making positions.”

Dr. Suzann Harris, dean of the School of Education and a Trevecca alumna herself, agreed.

“We believe strongly in education, and we believe strongly in our students,” Harris said. “As these recent successes attest, others believe strongly in them, too.”

Though not an exhaustive list, here are some of the many appointments obtained recently by Trevecca alumni in and near Middle Tennessee:

  • Dr. Beth Batson, a 2010 graduate of Trevecca’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, is the new supervisor of human resources, student services and policy for the Cheatham County School District. Batson, who also earned a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2000, was previously principal of Cheatham Middle School.
  • Dr. Robin Cayce, who earned a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2008 and an Ed.D. in 2012, is now principal of Hickman Elementary School. Cayce had served as principal of Julia Green Elementary since 2011.
  • Cayce’s predecessor as principal of Hickman Elementary School, Dr. Dottie Critchlow, has been named executive officer for instructional support for Metro Nashville Public Schools. Critchlow is a 2008 graduate of Trevecca’s Ed.D. program. In her new position, Critchlow oversees Metro’s English Learners and Exceptional Education programs.
  • Alisha Erickson is the new principal at Poplar Grove Elementary School in the Franklin Special School District. Erickson, who received a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2011, was formerly assistant principal at Moore Elementary in Franklin.
  • Metro Public Schools officials have appointed Dr. Vanessa Garcia as the executive lead principal for elementary schools. Garcia, who previously served as principal and assistant principal at Poplar Grove School in Franklin, holds both a master’s degree (2002) and doctorate (2009) from Trevecca. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Trevecca and Lipscomb University.
  • Ryan Harris, who received a bachelor’s degree from Trevecca in 2003 and a master’s degree in 2006, has become dean of the middle school at Franklin Road Academy. Harris previously was principal of Nolensville Elementary School in Williamson County.
  • Rebekah Harrison, who earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Trevecca in 2012, is the new assistant principal at Allendale Elementary School in Spring Hill.
  • Marcus Heaston is the new principal of Covington High School in Tipton County, Tenn. Heaston earned a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2005 and previously served as assistant principal at Covington prior to serving as assistant principal at Gunn Junior High School in Arlington, Texas.
  • Marcus Heaston’s brother, Marlon Heaston, has become assistant principal at Northwest High School in Clarksville. Most recently, he was a math teacher at Covington High School, where he received public recognition for developing and implementing several innovative math support programs. Marlon Heaston received a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2009 and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program.
  • Dr. Ryan Jackson, who earned a master’s degree from Trevecca in 2009 and an Ed.D. in 2013, has become the dean of students and graduation coach at Maplewood Comprehensive High School.
  • Dr. Ryan Longnecker, who also holds a master’s degree (2010) and an Ed.D. (2013) from Trevecca, is the dean of students at Apollo Middle School.
  • Formerly a network lead principal in Metro Public Schools, Dr. Christopher Marczak has become assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Oak Ridge City Schools in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Marczak earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Trevecca in 2002 as well as a doctorate in leadership and professional practice from the university in 2006. He also has served on the adjunct faculties of both Trevecca and Lipscomb.
  • Stephanie Mascolo, who earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Trevecca in 2013, is the new principal of Cheatham Middle School, replacing fellow Trevecca alumna Beth Batson (see above). Previously, Mascolo worked as assistant principal for the Northwest Corrections Academy in Tiptonville, Tenn., and as assistant principal in the Jackson-Madison County School System.
  • Current Trevecca doctoral student Marsha McGill is the new principal of Glenview Elementary. McGill, who also received a master’s degree from the university in 2002, was formerly principal of Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option Elementary.
  • Dr. Rebecca Welch has been named principal of Joelton Elementary. Welch, who has worked for Metro Public Schools for more than 14 years in both administrative and teaching positions, holds three degrees from Trevecca: a bachelor’s in elementary education (1992), a master’s in educational leadership (2003), and a doctorate in leadership and professional practice (2007).
  • Dr. Tonja Williams, a 2012 Ed.D. graduate, is the new executive principal of Head Middle Magnet School. Williams previously served as the academic principal for Glencliff High School and assistant principal of the Nashville School of the Arts.