ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) – Maybe if you’re old enough, you might remember the old television sitcom, “Welcome Back, Kotter.” It was about a man who returned to his alma mater to teach. Well, in Limestone County there’s a school where many of the teachers once were students. The principal is a graduate of the school, and so was the principal before him! WHNT News 19’s Al Whitaker takes us to Elkmont High School.
When school starts next week, old Elkmont High will have a brand new principal at the helm. But Garth Garris already knows his way around the school. Thats because he was a student here.
“When my playing days were over in high school, how do you stay close to it? How do you stay close to sports, and that’s by coaching. To coach, you teach. And so I started out as probably more of a coach than I was a teacher at first,” Garris told WHNT News 19.
But Garris says he found his priorities and evolved into teaching. A few years ago, he got the chance to come back to Elkmont to coach and when former principal Stan Davis announced his retirement earlier this year, Garris got the nod.
He’s not alone in his distinction. Garris says almost a dozen Elkmont teachers are also Elkmont grads, along with the former principal. He says there’s a quality of life in this community that pulls people back to stay.
“We can always do more, I don’t think we should ever be satisfied and say we’ve done all we can do. I mean the work’s never done.”
As evidenced by an old photo that hangs in the school, a picture of a young man who once roamed these halls, and who would come back to make a difference in the lives of others.
Garris says he’s at least the third principal at Elkmont who is also a graduate of the school. Another Elkmont graduate, Scott Sutton, is also the new principal at Athens Elementary School this year.