West Middle School Principal Mick Shuran has accepted a position with Manchester City Schools and has resigned from his WMS position, effective June 30, according to school officials.
Shuran notified Director of Schools Dan Lawson of his decision late Tuesday night, according to an email provided to The News.
Shuran will take over in Manchester as the Director of Instruction, an assistant superintendent position, which will give him the experience he needs to one day in the future become a director of schools, Shuran said in the email.
“Dr. Shuran has provided exemplary service as a teacher, a coach an assistant principal and a principal for nearly two decades,” Lawson said of Shuran’s tenure at Tullahoma City Schools. “He has been tireless in his dedication to Tullahoma City Schools and truly will be missed by all he worked with.”
Despite expressing sadness at Shuran’s leaving, Lawson said he has every expectation Shuran will succeed in his new post.
“I am confident that Mick is tremendously prepared for a district-level leadership position and have no doubt that his service with the Manchester City School District will provide great value to that community. I am truly excited about the opportunity he will enjoy and am looking forward to his mark on Manchester,” Lawson said.
Shuran has left his fingerprints over the width and breadth of the school system, spanning each level of education in the city.
“My experiences at WMS and TCS have been extremely valuable both professionally and personally. I value those relationships I have built over the years,” Shuran said.
Not only has Shuran curated a professional reputation in the city, he also has a personal connection to Tullahoma.
Shuran graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1994 after moving to town in the fifth grade.
His parents were from Tullahoma, he said, and they moved back to Tullahoma through his father’s job with TVA.
After leaving town for college, Shuran came back to start his professional career at THS as a history teacher and assistant basketball coach in 2000.
He then moved on to become the assistant principal at both East and West Middle schools in 2006 before taking a principal position at Jack T. Farrar Elementary School a year later. After five years leading the Farrar Frogs, Shuran took the principal spot at West, where he’s been ever since.
From day one as an educator in Tullahoma, he said, Lawson has been both a friend and a mentor to him, essentially coaching him throughout his career on how to become a better teacher and principal.
New West principal
The vacancy at West didn’t last long. The search took all of a day and a half, with a new principal named by Thursday morning.
Cindy Herrera, who previously served as the assistant principal for both East and West middle schools, has been named the new WMS Principal.
“In our conversations, Ms. Herrera shared her aspirations and vision for West Middle School and the future of that school,” Lawson said in an email on Herrera’s promotion.
“The dedication, experience and expertise that Ms. Herrera provides to the district make her a tremendous choice for a promotion, and I have decided to move her to that principalship,” he said.
Lawson also provided a short biography of Herrera to The News, detailing her experience with TCS and her education.
Herrera has been with the district for decades. She served at both the old and new West Middle Schools, teaching technology classes before moving to Tullahoma High School to teach business and technology classes through the school’s career and technical education (CTE) program.
In 2008, she moved to the school administration building to lead the CTE program as its director until 2014, when she took her assistant principal post.
“Serving as the West Middle School principal will be a new adventure in working with the students, parents, staff, teachers and community of Tullahoma City Schools,” her bio read.
Herrera holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree from MTSU and a Master’s of Instructional Leadership degree from Tennessee Tech.
Herrera’s tenure as the WMS Principal will begin July 1.
According to Shuran, Herrera won’t need much introduction to her new position.
Given that Herrera’s been an assistant principal at both East and West, she already has a pretty firm grasp on her new duties and responsibilities, he said.
Even so, there are still some small things that Shuran said he’ll be writing down and passing along to make Herrera’s first day as the Bobcat commander easier.
“She really doesn’t need any help,” he said, “but I’ve got some notes and things I’m going to share with her.”
Between wrapping up some final details – reports due in June and the like – and Herrera’s prior knowledge of how West works, Shuran said it would be a “pretty easy transition.”
“It’s going to be an easy transition for her anyways, because she’s been here for several years,” he said.
The next step
Taking the position has been something Shuran has been debating for “a while,” he said.
“I’ve been thinking for a while … that it was getting time for me to think about the next steps in my career,” he said.
Some possible options for career moves Shuran could have made included higher education positions and superintendent positions, though he felt taking this step would be better for him in the long run.
“I knew that, although this superintendent job was coming open, it would be better for me to have experience prior to being in that role,” he said.
Having the Director of Instruction role in Manchester would give him the central office experience he feels he needs before taking a superintendent role.
“I’ve had tons of experience in the world of administration and the world of education, but one of the things I’m lacking is central office experience,” he said.
Shuran said he was grateful for all the relationships he’s built and friends he’s made during his time in Tullahoma.
“I made some great friends and great relationships,” he said.
He also said he was thankful to work for such a “great system.”
“You say when you graduate college that you’re not going to come back, but I came back and really became part of the system again. I’ll never trade that, because it was a great experience. It’s a great system to be a part of. There really is a focus on kids and what’s important, and that is what we need more [of] in our world,” he said.
Shuran isn’t going to completely leave the Tullahoma community, however.
Since Manchester is just 11 miles down the road, Shuran said he has no plans of moving.
“I’ll be a part of the Tullahoma community but I’ll also be a part of the Manchester community,” he said.
Erin McCullough may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.