It’s rare that Dr. Timothy Drinkwine finds himself sitting at the desk in his office during the day.
In fact, it’s rare that he finds himself sitting down at all.
As principal of Mount Pleasant Middle School for the Visual Arts in Maury County, Tennessee, Drinkwine is always up moving, tending to the needs of students or providing support to teachers and faculty.
“It’s not abnormal for me to walk more than 10,000 steps during the workday. I am always moving around the building trying to meet the needs of our diverse [students]. I relax and recharge on evenings and weekends, but the school day is all about our teachers and kids,” he said. “I want to teach and give at every possible moment. I want to encourage through my words and actions and look for teachable moments to be a change agent for our students. I believe that it’s that kind of influence that makes the future better.”
Drinkwine is a two-time Trevecca graduate, having earned his master’s in educational leadership and his doctorate in leadership and professional practice from Trevecca in 2006 and 2013, respectively. Earlier this year, he was named Administrator of the Year by The Professional Educators of Tennessee, a nonpartisan statewide education association.
It’s an honor Drinkwine doesn’t take lightly.
“The award is testament to the hard work of the entire team of educators and staff members at Mt. Pleasant Middle School. We have seen our school experience unparalleled success having earned [national distinction] from the National Beta Club and recognition as a Tennessee STEM Innovation Network designee for the state and having been represented as teachers of the year for the last two years,” he said. “To serve as principal during this rich and historic time in Mt. Pleasant Middle’s existence is truly an honor.”
Drinkwine said his commitment to education began years before he set foot on Trevecca’s campus.
“My junior year of high school, I was sitting in my U.S. history class taught by student-favorite Doug Trotter at John Overton High School. Mr. Trotter was one of the most influential teachers I ever had. It was his wit, his relational approach, his love of the job and his knack for understanding students that drew me to want to follow in his footsteps,” he said. “I vividly remember sitting in class and thinking, ‘One day, I want to do what he does.’”
After earning his bachelor’s in secondary education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Drinkwine said he was all-in. It wasn’t long before he had enrolled at Trevecca to continue building on his experience in education.
“I have been in educational leadership for the past 10 years, and I can confidently say that my professional training in tandem with my education at Trevecca as a practitioner prepared me for my instructional leadership journey. [Trevecca] has left the most profound impact on me personally and professionally, and I am forever indebted to the professors and faculty for the preparation I received there,” he said. “I chose Trevecca because a close friend of mine encouraged me to apply to the master’s program, and that same friend and I ended up graduating as part of the same cohort in 2006. Everyone I encountered during my Trevecca experience was so helpful, kind and encouraging. It’s so meaningful to be connected to an institution of higher education that leaves such a profound legacy.”