Hutto Eyes District Director Headquarters | Lebanon

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The Special Education District of Lebanon is currently reviewing candidates to replace outgoing school principal Scott Benson. Today’s edition of democrat Spotlight Coles Ferry Primary School Principal Brian Hutto.

A native of Wilson County, his roots run deep, and he owes much of his personality to this local upbringing.

Hutto graduated from Watertown High School, where some influential tutelage from English teachers helped him start his current path.

“As a high school student playing football and baseball, English and literature should have been the last thing on my mind,” Hutto said. “(However) Ms. Cantrell and Ms. Johnson could make it funny. I loved it. I loved being in her class, the writing process, the literature, the drama, all those plays.”

When he moved to Western Kentucky University, he first studied preoptometry. Science kept his interest, but he still felt compelled to pursue a career in education, so he switched majors. At WKU, student teachers have the opportunity to see the inside of real classrooms firsthand by visiting nearby schools. These visits reassured Hutto that teaching is what he should be doing.

Since then, Hutto has worn almost every hat there is to wear in education, except one from headquarters. Between stints as a coach, teacher, athletic director and principal, he’s confident he can lead the district.

“I was very lucky with the lead that was there at all my stops,” said Hutto. “I started teaching freshman English at Gallatin High School. I trained cross-country and track.

“When Elzie Patton (Elementary School) opened in Mt. Juliet, that was my first internship in administration.”

Hutto commented on how “great” it was to be involved in the creation of a new school and community.

“We brought together families from many different schools and teachers from many different schools,” said Hutto. “Being there was huge and a great experience.”

While there are differences between teaching high school students and elementary school students, Hutto stated that they are not as strong as one might expect.

“I used to say, ‘First years are a lot like first years… they just wear bigger pants,'” Hutto said jokingly. “Seriously, every child has their own needs, but at the end of the day, they want to know that they have someone in their corner and that we will do whatever we can to support them.”

Before Hutto reached his current position, he briefly served as assistant principal and athletic director at Lebanon High School. He has been at CFES for 10 years and is proud of the community surrounding the school.

“This community, the family, the teachers, Miss Coree (Bishop) at the front desk, really cares about (their members), and we have that purpose,” Hutto said. “Coles Ferry is a place where everyone thrives. That’s our motto…we’re tight. Everyone knows that everyone is family. We just managed to build something special.”

Hutto expressed his gratitude for moments with his students that keep him humble, like encounters at grocery stores or restaurants. Seeing him outside the school building catches about half of them off guard when they realize he doesn’t actually “live at school.”

The principal admits that he spends an inordinate amount of time on campus during different seasons, but this seasonal variety of time commitments is only part of the job.

“The start of the school year is a lot of hours, but that’s to make sure everything is in place so everything can run smoothly,” Hutto said. “Things are calming down. Then we get into test time and it all starts at 100 mph. At the end of the year, it’s like closing a business. You have to pack and lock everything.”

When it comes to making difficult decisions, as the board will surely make its way, Hutto acknowledged that not every solution will be well received by the parties involved, but he never wants to dismiss the diversity of thought.

“The most important thing is to sit around a table and listen to each other and listen to each other,” Hutto said. “As I step into this role, my job first is to listen and learn. I tell my groups all the time that we don’t have the best idea if everyone at the table has the same opinion. I have a perspective… you have a perspective, so we need to figure out where in that middle ground is the best service for the students.”

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