Dr. Garfield Adams, director of Exceptional Education for Hamilton County Schools, is returning home to his alma mater as executive principal of Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tn. Dr. Adams was the executive principal of Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge before moving to Hamilton County Schools. Dr. Adams, his wife Aimee, and son Jaxon continue to reside in his hometown of Oak Ridge. His daughter, Micalah, resides in Knoxville.
"It has been an honor and privilege to work with the fine people of Chattanooga," Dr.
Adams said. "I appreciate the amazing opportunity I had to serve as your Exceptional Education director, and I appreciate the unconditional guidance and support provided by Dr. Johnson, Dr. Drake, and Dr. Towns. I look forward to returning to my alma mater and serve the community that raised me."
Dr. Adams joined Hamilton County Schools in the fall of 2017 and has been an integral part of providing exceptional educational services to the community's children. During his tenure, the Exceptional Education Department successfully assisted all district schools with providing students exceptional education services within their home zoned school. The Exceptional Education Department also implemented co-teaching models within all schools in the district and social and emotional training that included Insights to Behavior and Why Try programs. Dr. Adams was recognized as the 2020 Advocate of The Year by the TN Disability Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP).
"The Exceptional Education Department is on track, working with the Teaching and Learning Department, to improve literacy for all elementary schools by providing training and supports with the Spire program in grades K-5," Dr. Adams said.
Dr. Adams began his career as a special education teacher in Knox County Schools in 2001. He also served as an assistant principal, Small Learning Community (SLC) curriculum assistant, and alternative program teacher in Oak Ridge Schools.
"Dr. Adams has been a champion for exceptional education students in Hamilton County Schools, and the community is better because of his leadership," said Dr. Marsha Drake, Chief Equity Officer for Hamilton County Schools. "Although I hate to see him leave Hamilton County Schools, he has been offered a position that will allow him to have dinner with his family every night."
Mitzi Delker will serve as the interim Exceptional Education Director. Ms. Delker has worked in education for over 40 years, and this year marks her 13th year as a special education supervisor. She served as a special education inclusion teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Hamilton County. She has also coordinated 504 services in Hamilton County, served as a parent trainer and community liaison, worked as a transition facilitator for middle and high school, and served as a client program coordinator at Orange Grove Center.