HHS Appreciates Our Administrators

It’s been a challenging couple of years. That much is obvious. At Heritage, we’ve had four steadfast administrators—Dr. Schexnaildre, Coach Beagles, Dr. Scott, and Mr. Bradford—who have led us through these turbulent times with grace, professionalism, and humor. We at The General Journal wanted to give these administrators the spotlight they deserve, so we interviewed the many different members of the Heritage community (including one former teacher and one former administrator) to see what they had to say about each of them. 

Our writers asked these interviewees to describe each administrator using only one word and to tell us what personal qualities stood out and what memories were their favorites. We’ve compiled their answers below.

 

M. Petteys

Dr. Eric Schexnaildre

“Dr. Schexnaildre is multi-faceted. He is extremely well-versed in career tech, athletics, administration, and human nature, but his real gift is that he can make hard work feel like a carnival. Don’t get me wrong. This guy works hard and inspires those around him to do so, but somehow it doesn’t seem so taxing when he is involved. I hope he won’t be offended by this, but when it is time for business, he is the front of the mullet, but after that . . .” – Carla Stephens 

“He keeps things light. I don’t know how you would say that. You know, like, he keeps everybody on their toes and keeps everybody positive. I would say he’s ‘positive,’ yeah. He helps make it where everybody enjoys coming into work every day.” – Mr. Fehr 

“Hallway greetings from Dr. Schexnaildre always brighten my day. He’s charismatic: he is upbeat and brings a positive attitude with him wherever he goes.” – Mrs. McCole

“My favorite thing about Schex is that even when things have gotten hectic, he can always find a bright side and make you laugh. He’s enthusiastic.” – Mr. Lones

“Dr. Schexnaildre just always just seems to be in a great mood and very personable. He’s a go-getter. I’ve had to call Dr. Schexnaildre down here before and as soon as I call him, there he is, ready for action.” – Mrs. Lann

“Dr. Schexnaildre, I would say, is caring, and the reason I say that is because I feel students know that they can go to him if they have any problems and that he will listen to them and be understanding.” – Mrs. Wilson

Dr. Schexnaildre is adaptable. The fact that he doesn’t judge the high maintenance Ag teacher too much when she gets another program idea. Y’all, I am really something to deal with sometimes, hence the word ‘adaptable’ for him.” – Mrs. Handy

“‘Fair’ would be my word for Dr. Schexnaildre. He always deals fairly with others.” – Johnston

“Schexnaildre is very business-like. I know he really deals mostly with sports, but when it comes time, he knows what to do and he gives us a really good idea of what’s going on.” – Wynne

“Dr. Schexnaildre is supportive of teachers and advocates for them.  He is friendly and encouraging.” – Mrs. Tollett

“My one word for Dr. Schexnaildre is extracurricular.  It’s fitting that he is the CTAE admin.” – Ms. Wells 

“Dr. Schexnaildre: ‘SUPPORTIVE.’ Dr. Schexnaildre is relentlessly, enthusiastically supportive of those with whom he works. He is the kind of leader you want to have your back. Dr. Schexnaildre stopped by my room often, less with requests and more with genuine support of and interest in what I was trying to do with my students. My favorite thing about Dr. Schexnaildre is the whole Gulf Coast vibe he brings to the mix of administrators. The other three are North Georgia boys, but Dr. Schexnaildre is the hot sauce in the mix.” – Wayne Ingle

“Dr. Schexnaildre is a tiger. . . He’s majestic and unique (and he knows it). Dr. Schexnaildre is super supportive and is always good for a laugh when spirits need lifting.” – Coach Terry 

“Schex is comic relief.  When situations get difficult or intense, he always lightens the mood and helps give perspective and reminds you that it’s going to be okay.” – Mrs. Campbell 

 

Coach Eric Beagles

Coach Beagles: ‘GRACIOUS.’ I have seen Coach Beagles take the high road time and again when personally attacked, remaining approachable and kind. Without compromising what is right (basically, his principles) he can defuse situations where others might inflame them. He brings to mind an old term: ‘Velvet Covered Brick.’ He also helped me out every single time I had a conversation with him. He always made time for me, and when I asked him about how to handle a situation regarding student discipline and parental involvement, he never failed to give sage, workable advice. My favorite thing about Coach Beagles is that, unlike stereotypical coaches, he places academic excellence at the same level as athletic acumen.” – Wayne Ingle

“Mr. Beagles is scrupulous with details and conscientious. I admire his dedication. He is industrious.” – Mrs. Tollett 

“Coach Beagles is a meerkat . . . He is loyal and always standing guard. Mr. Beagles is dependable and always watching our six.” – Coach Terry 

“My favorite thing about Mr. Beagles is that he will make sure everybody does their job. So if there’s some teacher that’s not doing their job, I feel like he’s the one that will call him out and be like, ‘hey, you need to do your job better.’ I don’t know him very well, but the one word I’d use to describe him would be ‘loud.’ I always hear his voice the loudest whenever he’s monitoring on duty. He just has a very loud voice. That’s the one thing that comes to mind with him.” – Dr. Kemp

“Coach Beagles is a fantastic relational person; you feel like you can really sit down and talk with him. It’s very comfortable.” – Mr. Douglass

“I like that he always gives Ms. Sawyer and me our favorite lunch duty station, the Media Terrace. The one word I’d use to describe him would be ‘integrity.’” – Handy

“Beagles is your go-to if you want something done immediately.” – Mrs. Mathis

“Coach Beagles is even-keeled. Whether it’s an emergency or a regular day, he’s just steady Eddie, and he’s super dependable. He also takes great care to be considerate to all the staff.” – Mr. Johnston

“Coach Beagles is caring.” – Ms. Bicknell

“Coach Beagles is always willing to help out and offers to help, which is appreciated when things are crazy here down in the main office. He’s very helpful.” – Mrs. Lones

Reliable because he is always there when we need him for different things, whether it be a safety plan or some different issues like that, behavioral and safety plans and tardies and stuff.” – Mr. Fehr

“Beagles is efficient. When it comes to safety and getting information out. He is very, very, very efficient.” – Mr. Wynne

“Coach Beagles is very approachable and helps with any issues I might have. In one word, he is a problem-solver. He is great at finding creative solutions to problems.” – Mrs. McCole

“He’s the behind-the scenes guy. You know he’s there supporting you and will be there when you need him. He’s dependable, and he’s also really nice. And he loves TikToks! He loves to show a good TikTok!” – Mrs. Campbell

“He’s kind.” – Mrs. Hamilton

“Coach Beagles lives a life that makes those around him want to be better. He is self-disciplined and expects his team and the students to be. He has an excellent work ethic and models this for his players and for the student body because he knows that hard work is the way to excellence. Coach Beagles loves his family and demonstrates how to be a family-oriented assistant principal and coach in this busy world. How he manages all this so well I will never know.” – Carla Stephens

“Coach. No explanation needed.”Ms. Wells

 

Dr. Jason Scott

“Dr. Scott is a zebra. He avoids operating in gray areas whenever possible. He’s a rock. You always know what you’re gonna get with him.” – Coach Terry

Dr. Scott is objective. I think it’s his science background.” – Ms. Wells

“Dr. Scott wears many hats, but he is always available to discuss issues and aid a teacher or student. He is very practical and solves problems promptly. He’s accessible.” – Mrs. Tollett

“My one word for Dr. Scott is strict. If there’s something going on in your classroom, he’ll take care of it, quickly. I also feel like he always has good advice for teachers. That’s my favorite thing about him.” – Mrs. Kemp

“Doctor Scott is . . .  very, what’s the word? He’s very calculated. He thinks things through, and I feel very comfortable with him making decisions because he’s thinking about the long term.” – Mr. Douglas

“My favorite thing about Dr. Scott is his honest and no-nonsense approach to every situation. Also, he has sampled our ghost pepper plants from the greenhouse the past several years and his plant feedback has proven to be a valuable asset to planning hot pepper purchases.” – Mrs. Handy 

“Dr. Scott is just direct and straightforward.” – Mrs. Mathis

“He’s structured.” – Ms. Bicknell 

“Dr. Scott has helped us out when we have somebody skipping class or not doing what they are supposed to do. He always steps up and takes care of it so you don’t have to worry about it any further. If I had to use one word to describe him, I’d say ‘respectful.’” – Mr. Lones

“Dr. Scott is patient, because everybody hates doing what he is in charge of. [Editor’s Note: This is most likely referring to EOCs and other required standardized testing.] And he is incredibly patient with us.” – Mr. Wynne

“Dr. Scott is easy to talk to, and I enjoy any time I have a conversation with him. He’s levelheaded and a multitasker—especially during testing, Dr. Scott shows that he can calmly organize and handle a lot of moving parts at one time.” – Mrs. McCole

“He’s balanced. Dr. Scott is very black and white. He’s very straightforward and you never have to worry about where you stand with him. He works really hard, and he’s Ronnie’s right-hand man.” – Mr. Franks

“Dr. Scott: ‘INTELLIGENT.’ I’ve admired Dr. Scott’s bright intelligence since the days when he was a student and I was a teacher at LFO. Coupled with his unfailing politeness, he cuts a fine figure of leadership. Dr. Scott helped me to understand how a teacher can affect their students and, with care, can produce really good men and women who give back to, rather than take from, their communities. My favorite thing about Dr. Scott is that while being professional and intellectually gifted, he also plays a mean acoustic guitar and has exquisite musical taste.” – Wayne Ingle

“Dr. Scott: perceptive. It could be his science background or it could be an inherent character trait, but Dr. Scott can read a situation in an instant, which is helpful since he deals with some discipline, plus all testing, scheduling . . . the list is never-ending, and yet he accomplishes all of it with a smile and without complaint (unlike his predecessor). He is firm yet fair and demonstrates that he cares about students.” – Carla Stephens

 

W. Ingle

Mr. Ronnie Bradford

“Mr. Bradford is a visionary. I love how he works to make sure that the teachers have what they need to do their job and to do their job well.” – Ms. Bicknell

“Mr. Bradford is a lion . . . he is noble and courageous. He rarely overcomplicates things. Putting students and teachers first and foremost, he finds simple solutions that work for the most people impacted.” – Mr. Terry

“The one word I’d use to describe Mr. Bradford is effective. He works very hard to make sure teachers and students feel content and supported. I truly know that he works diligently to make my job easier.  He puts the school above his own needs and does not get enough credit.” – Mrs. Tollett

“There have been many times that Mr. Bradford has advocated for our students. He always finds a way to make sure that we [teachers] have the materials and resources needed to do what we do. He sees the value in investing in our students, and that makes my job as an educator so much better. It’s a luxury to have an administrator who truly wants what is best for students and teachers and doesn’t lose sight of that . . . If I could use only one word to describe him, I would choose ‘classic.’ He’s the standard.” – Ms. Wells

“Mr. Bradford is dedicated. He’s dedicated to his job and to making sure that everybody is safe and doing what they’re supposed to. And he’s really good at setting the tone for the school.” – Mrs. Kemp

“Mr. Bradford is invested. Also, the low key roasts he makes on Twitter . . . 10/10. The Trobrezzy roasts from several years ago are still my favorite. Also, he gave me a copy of Oprah’s best selling book: O’s Guide to Life. I would definitely recommend taking the time to read it; it is endorsed by Ronnie B himself.” – Mrs. Handy

“Mr. Bradford is the guy that is sailing the ship. He kind of reminds me of the movie [Captain Phillips], when the guy says “I am the captain now.” [Mr. Bradford] is the captain now, and he will protect you, as long as you’re making the right decisions and doing the right things. He’s got your back.” – Mr. Douglass

“I appreciate how Mr. Bradford has created a culture in the school of being open to student ideas and giving [students] all the freedoms that [they] have.” – Mrs. Lann

Mr. Bradford . . .  he is . . . well, I guess this is more than one word. He is kind of like the foundation for everybody. Everybody comes to him . . . and he’s been really supportive of brainstorming and new ideas for the classroom, which has been really beneficial. On a personal level, all the administrators, literally every single one, when I lost my dad and had to miss a lot of school, they were so understanding and supportive.” – Mrs. Mathis

“A few years ago, I approached Mr. Bradford about the possibility of teaching a Forensic Science course. He was more than supportive, as he guided me into what I needed to do to start the program. Also, he was more than generous with providing funds to successfully start the program with materials needed for a successful class . . . Mr. Bradford is a leader, a clear leader, who makes it easy to follow his vision.” – Mr. Johnston

“Mr. Bradford is genuine. He’s always cared about my family, you know, outside of school and has always checked in on us. Like the time I was sick last year and I wasn’t able to be here, he checked with Coach Lones to make sure I was feeling good and getting better. Then when I was able to return, he asked me in person how I was feeling. I feel that describes him well: ‘genuine.’ He is also really good about communicating  with us [in the front office], which helps us know how to handle things, and he is always available to answer the questions that we may have from our parents.” – Mrs. Lones

“For Bradford, my one word would be supportive, and the reason why is because he always is fighting for teachers and the students to make sure their needs are being met.” – Mr. Fehr

“Mr. Bradford and Carla Stephens interviewed me when I applied at HHS in 2017, and I can’t thank them enough for hiring me. This is by far the best school I have ever worked at, and I try to never take for granted how fortunate I am that I get to be here with these administrators, faculty, and students I really like Mr. Bradford’s sense of humor, especially allusions to The Office . . . The one word I’d use to describe him is ‘protector’: he always does his best to keep our school and students safe.” – Mrs. McCole

“One moment that stands out to me the most is working with Mr. Bradford through all the things we had to do last year. Mrs. Guest, Mr. Franks, and I were class sponsors for the class of 2020, and when we first went on quarantine, we were all at home and just working with Bradford. We had to reschedule many things, like Graduation, and we had to cancel Prom, but he helped get us through, and that’s the one that really stands out to me. Mr. Bradford, I would say, in one word, is positive, and I chose this word because through anything that we went through as a school, he always has a positive outlook on everything.” – Mrs. Wilson

Mr. Bradford is the captain; he would go down with the ship. He’s kind of like a mechanic to me [too]: he’s always gonna find a solution. He just will . . . I can not agree with him on something but still respect it and respect him because of the way that he leads.” – Mr. Franks

“He’s just hands down the best leader of people I’ve ever met; I’ve worked a lot of jobs and he’s the best.” – Mrs. Campbell

“Mr. Bradford changed my life forever the day he came into my empty classroom at LFO and asked me to help him start a new school in the county. When he could have chosen all young, fresh teachers to staff HHS, he made room for an older teacher with a questionable ‘coolness’ factor. My favorite thing about Mr. Bradford is that he is constantly learning. He is a voracious reader and podcast enthusiast. One word I’d use to describe him is ‘perspicacious.’ One of Mr. Bradford’s notable strengths is that he is not reactive—proactive, perhaps. He always took a beat to examine from multiple angles even the most potentially volatile of situations before proceeding.” – Wayne Ingle

Mr. Bradford: omniscient. It is amazing that in a school this large one principal can know and care about everything that is going on. Mr. Bradford lives by a rule that controls his professional life—What is best for kids?  That sounds simple, but living by this has cost him. Though I am old enough to be his mother, I learned more from him in my years as his assistant than in all my other teaching years combined.” – Carla Stephens 

He’s a good guy.” – Bobby

 

All Administrators

“My favorite thing is honestly how they operate as a team. They balance one another well. Together they are doing everything they can to contribute while navigating the ever-changing environment that has become school and learning. No one was prepared or had any training on how to do virtual/hybrid schooling, contact tracing, or managing quarantines. It has been a sink-or-swim situation and I feel like most days we are swimming along very well.” – Ms. Wells 

All of the administrators have helped me out many times . . . and each has been a mentor for me in his own way. I feel blessed to work for such a supportive group of leaders.” – Coach Terry 

Our school, by far, has the absolute best administrators! They communicate well with teachers, staff, parents, and students. They always have my back. They make sure I have all the materials and equipment I need to teach. They trust me to do my job. I love it that they let the students participate in so many fun activities and allow the kids to have an hour lunch each day with their friends. I appreciate them working long hours through the pandemic to make sure everyone stays safe.” – Mrs. Hamilton

“Each one of them have all helped shape me into the educator I am today by seeing all their different qualities. Seeing how they handle their business on a daily basis and how they treat us has allowed me to kind of take on little pieces of each one of them and implement it into how I carry out my business as a teacher and educator today.” – Mr. Fehr

“One of my favorite things about them is that they are always student-centered. They care about students and their education. They care that they give each student a good school experience.” – Mrs. Wilson

Since I’ve worked here, I’ve basically had all of the big life moments. It was really the first job I got where I felt valued. I got married while working here, and I’ve had two kids and they’ve done nothing but support me through everything. That’s not normal to have such a supportive administration. I’ve grown up as an adult here, and I’ll be forever and ever grateful.” – Mrs. Campbell 

Well, first things first, they hired me . . . I drove to a town that I had never even heard of to interview for an Ag job at this huge high school. Just a farm kid from Kentucky that was determined to teach Agriculture. I had no experience, brand new and fresh outta college, but they still took a chance on me. I’ll never forget when Mr. Bradford offered me the job right outside the counseling office after I took a tour of the school. Things could’ve gone terribly wrong, and it was a gamble on everyone’s part, but I think things have turned okay so far. I mean, I’m still here eight years later: something must be working out. It’s easy to work and invest in something when you see the people in charge or in leadership positions working down in the trenches with you. They’re not above doing the work or making tough choices. They support programs and their teachers, even when those teachers and their students set huge goals that seem impossible at the time. I know it can’t be an easy job. However, my second block Horticulture students and I do believe it would be beneficial for one of them to take a greenhouse stroll with us at least one time. 🙂 Also, shout out to Carla Stephens, she will forever be admin to me.” – Mrs. Handy 

“One favorite thing about these guys is that they work AS A TEAM, and when you are part of a support system as strong as what they have, it is pretty amazing. My other favorite thing about all four of these guys is that they love their families and put them first. It is hard to fit everything in when there are so many working parts to running a high school, but they make it work without neglecting the most important people in their lives . . . I can’t think of a time when they didn’t help me or positively impact me. I have plenty of stories, but they helped me by being the people that they are. I am blessed for having worked with all of them, and I am doubly blessed because I can also call them friends.” – Carla Stephens