Garrott leaves her mark on BHS

Garrott moves on to new position in Rutherford County central office

Have you ever wondered who headed up Renaissance Club for the last 21 years? Or who has helped students successfully graduate year after year?  

The superhero behind these jobs, among many others, was Kim Garrott.  

Garrott worked at Blackman High since the school opened in 2000. After 21 years, her time came to an end, as she accepted another position she started after winter break.  

Garrott, of course, made many friends during Blackman’s opening year, as all the teachers were “new.” One of these teachers was Gayle Dawson, physics and ACT prep teacher.  

Dawson and Garrott stayed friends throughout her entire time at Blackman, as Garrott even sang at her friend’s wedding.  

“She has always been behind the scenes and helped more students than anyone could possibly know about nor even have a clue,” stated Dawson. 

Shifting away from the media center, Garrott applied for an assistant principal’s position in 2007. When she got the news that she was not chosen, it was a big letdown.  

About a month later, the principal at the time contacted her with a newly created position, stating she felt that Garrott’s personality was perfect for this new position and explaining that this was why she did not feel compelled to choose her as an assistant principal. The new job was a graduation coach position. 

“I read the job description, and I ran downstairs to my husband and told him to read it. It sounded so perfect,” said Garrott. “It put me where I was around administration and what was happening, and how we ran the school. But I still got to have contact with my kids, and I got to keep Renaissance, which has always been my baby.” 

While working as a graduation coach, Garrott has “worn five different hats,” as she described it.  

Her main job is to work with at-risk students. This means working with those who are failing several classes, students with attendance issues, foster children, etc.  

She was also the school’s ATLAS program coordinator. This program helps kids considered homeless, living in hotels, or under similar circumstances. She also ran the credit recovery program in order to ensure students are on track to graduating on time.  

Because a lot of keeping students on track is through attendance, she also served as an “in-house truancy officer.” Garrott also ran the Renaissance club for 21 years, a club for rewarding students and teachers all around the school. Because she worked with so many students one-on-one, she even calls herself the students’ “momma at school.”  

One of these students is Esha Patel, senior. Patel was a teacher aide for Garrott throughout the entire first semester, so they saw each other very often.  

“I have loved meeting Mrs. Garrott and feeling understood by an adult within the school building. She has always been by my side since the first day,” stated Patel. 

Garrott’s favorite part of her job was always working with her students. She felt rewarded every time she saw growth within a student who was not initially successful. Seeing these students walk across the stage is always an emotional moment, as she knew she had impacted someone’s life in a positive way.  

Garrott even stated that she still has parents and students contact her to thank her for helping them be successful, and that is what made it all worth it for her.  

“You don’t do it for yourself. You can’t do this job for yourself, you have to do it for the kids,” said Garrott, with tears in her eyes.  

Garrott’s new job will now be working for the central office as a truancy officer. Her new office is located in LaVergne, as she will oversee seven LaVergne schools.  

Although Garrott was not initially looking for a different job, she decided to take the opportunity. Her son graduated high school in 2021, which was her top priority. Now she gets to “wear one hat,” or simply do one job, after wearing many hats over the years. 

“Not that I wanted to give up the beauty of all the things I do here, but I am older, and I do get stressed out. My health issues will [be] better with this other position, where I won’t have to worry about my health getting in the way of doing my job,” said Garrott.  

Garrott described her journey here at BHS as being phenomenal, and many of the students and teachers here would have to agree.  

“I am excited for her new opportunity and a chance to share her motherly love with others; I am going to miss seeing her on a daily basis. She has done so many things for BHS and me personally, but this is an exciting opportunity for her,” said Dawson. 

Garrott’s history has prepared her for this new job, as she has been able to work in a similar environment for the last 32 years.  

Garrott attended Middle Tennessee State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in general science with a minor in math. Later, she received a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision with a minor in Library Science. Her highest degree earned was an Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision.  

This is Garrott’s 32nd year in education. She started out in Wilson County teaching mostly math and science classes although she has taught a little bit of everything— and everywhere. After teaching throughout Wilson County, she taught in Unionville. Finally, before coming to Blackman, Garrott taught at Holloway High School. 

When she came to Blackman, Garrott was the media center specialist, better known as the librarian. She has helped to build the library from the ground up. 

“My mentor when I was in the process of getting my master’s degree happened to be a librarian, and I loved [her]. I decided I needed to do something along that line because I loved what she did,” stated Garrott, regarding her decision to work in the library. 

Blackman is excited for Garrott’s new beginning, although faculty and students will miss seeing her roam the halls of BHS.