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RMS Principal Ailshie steps down to become head track coach at Volunteer

Jeff Bobo • Jul 27, 2016 at 7:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville Middle School Principal Jim Ailshie announced his resignation this week to accept the boys and girls varsity track and cross country coaching position at Volunteer High School.

In addition to coaching, Ailshie will serve as a P.E. teacher.

Director of Schools Steve Starnes said previous RMS Assistant Principal Greg Simpson has been named the new RMS principal.

Interviews are underway for Simpson’s replacement, and Starnes said he hopes to make an official announcement later in the week.

Ailshie served as principal at RMS for the past four school years, as principal of Surgoinsville Middle School for four years and as assistant principal at SMS for three years.

Not too long ago Ailshie was also a leading contender for the Hawkins County director of schools position.

He told the Times-News Wednesday, however, that the one opportunity that has never presented itself during his education career is a varsity coaching position.

That is, until this year.

“These coaching opportunities are infrequent and also must align with one’s teacher certification,” Ailshie said. “This was an opportunity that had not presented itself during my tenure in Hawkins County and one I could not pass up.”

Track and field is a passion for the Ailshie family.

Among Ailshie, his son, his sister, and his niece, there are seven TSSAA state track championships as well as several runner-up finishes.

In 1981 Ailshie won the 800 meter state championship for Dobyns-Bennett with a state record time of 1:51.1 which still stands today. 

Ailshie also competed in track at the collegiate level at Auburn and the University of Tennessee and trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as part of the U.S. Junior National team.

Among his career highlights were racing the 1,500 meters against an Olympic champion in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

He also served as a graduate assistant for the University of Tennessee men’s track team.

Now Ailshie wants to help lead Volunteer athletes to similar achievements.

“I have been blessed during my lifetime to be around some of the best track and field athletes in the world, and many of those friendships still exist to this day,” he said. “With this opportunity at Volunteer, I have a strong desire to return to coaching, remain in Hawkins County, and develop a championship caliber track team. I am appreciative to Principal Bobby Wines for his confidence in me and look forward to working under his direction and leadership and with the students and families of Volunteer High School.”

Ailshie said the decision to leave Rogersville Middle was difficult, and he reflected on some of the school’s accomplishments during his four years there.

Over the first three years, the school increased its percentage of proficient and advanced students in mathematics, language arts and science each year, which he said reflected a positive trend in student achievement for the school.

In addition, RMS facilities inside the school building, athletic facilities, and the field house were significantly enhanced during his four years there.

“We have developed such a terrific teaching and administrative team at RMS that moving on is bittersweet,” he said. “I have been a school administrator for the last 11 years in Hawkins County and have been blessed to work with many wonderful people through those leadership experiences. Rogersville Middle School will be in great hands with the promotion of Greg Simpson to principal and its strong teaching staff.

“I wish all the Rogersville Middle School students and families the best and will continue to be a supportive member of our community.”                       

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