Staff Spotlight: Gail Powell

We’d like to take a minute to get to know our Executive Director here at High Hopes, Gail Powell! We sat down with Gail to pick her brain about herself, her job, and her involvement with High Hopes. Gail has been with High Hopes for several years. She lives in Franklin with her husband Ben, and together they have three children: two sons Cary and Cayce, and one daughter Kimberly. With 9 grandchildren to boot, they have a large family. Gail loves it, she says. “It’s a lot of fun.” Gail and Ben are active in their church, where Gail served on the preschool board for about ten years, and both have really grown roots in the Franklin community. Gail is originally from Amarillo, Texas. She studied near her hometown, and lived and worked there for many years. Then one day she got a letter from Battleground Academy, informing her they were seeking a new Lower School principal. She was surprised, to say the least. “I went, ‘What in the world?’ I called Battleground Academy and said, ‘We’re not interested in moving to Tennessee.’ But God had other plans.” Attending West Texas A&M University, Gail received her undergraduate degree in Education, as well as a special endorsement in early childhood. She later went on to complete a Masters in Administration, with an additional certification in supervision. Before coming to High Hopes, Gail was a principal for 19 years. For 10 years, she was principal of a public school that had a large number of children who were in special ed. She “loved it! I did about 100 IEP meetings a year. We had two preschool classrooms for children who had… complex needs… We had a wonderful staff who embraced these children." Gail was also a teacher. She taught kindergarten, as well as 1st, 5th, and 6th grades in public school in Texas. For a time, she also worked at the school administration building. During that time, she was the kindergarten coordinator for the entire district, and she worked with curriculum, and with teachers who taught language arts and reading. Once in Tennessee, Gail spent 9 years as the Lower School principal at BGA. “It was very different being in a private school, but it was good to have that experience.” She says those 9 years also exposed her to a lot of people in the Franklin community. After explaining this impressive resume, Gail adds, “I feel like all of it has been pointing to where I am now. It’s all pointed to this place. Kids have been