Guntersville High School’s new assistant principal and athletic director has hit the ground running since coming on board back in July.
Darren James took over after former assistant principal and AD Johnny Harbison retired. Despite the unusual circumstances leading into the 2020-2021 school year, James said he’s already feeling at home.
“The teachers, students and rest of the staff have been great since I took over,” he said. “Obviously, with COVID, this year has already been very odd, but the staff at GHS has made the transition very smooth. My family and I are looking forward to being a part of this community.”
James and his wife, Elizabeth, have a two-year old son, Cooper. James was formerly a teacher at Decatur Middle School and throughout his teaching career has coached baseball, basketball, football and golf at both the middle school and varsity levels.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Martin in 2011 with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education. In 2018, James received a master of arts degree in educational leadership from Carson-Newman University.
“This is my first go at being an administrator and I feel very fortunate to have landed in Guntersville,” he said. “It seems like every team at Guntersville is really good. As a former coach, it’s so exciting to be around this many good coaches and players.”
The athletic director at Decatur High School is former head coach of the Arab Knights football team, Watt Parker. James said he had a good working relationship with him while at Decatur and stays in touch with him.
“Watt has been a great person for me to get advice from whenever I need it,” he said. “There’s a lot of support here at GHS, too. When you take over a position you’ve never been in before it’s very important to have good people you can count on for guidance.”