Snell looks to continue excellence

Published 4:50 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New T.R. Miller principal Ronnie Snell said, “If it’s not broke, let’s not try to fix it.”

Snell, the former Opp High School principal who assumed the TRM post after the retirement of longtime principal Mary Bell, said the school – and the Brewton City School System – has a longstanding tradition of excellence.

“Miller is one of those blue ribbon schools, and the opportunity to lead it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “When the position became open, I knew I had to try.”

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BCS Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner said during his time at Tallassee City Schools, he had tried to hire Snell.

“Mr. Snell is a enthusiastic educator who brings an extreme level of commitment and experience to education,” Varner said. “Things didn’t work out for him to come to work with me before, but this time, I am thrilled it worked out.”

Snell, who has spent the last 13 years as a principal, said he is a “believer in young people.”

“TRM has such a tradition of excellence that I want to continue to capitalize and expand,” he said. “Our students, our youth, are our future. The state requires us to make sure that students are college or career ready. At Miller, you have worked to exceed that.”

Snell said 2015 graduation statistics show that 100 percent of the students who started their senior school year at TRM graduated on time.

“That is impressive, but when you go one step further and see that of those, 75 percent went on to college – half in the two-year system and the other half in a four-year system,” he said. “Once they got there, statistics showed that only one student in the group needed remedial help. That is impressive.”

On the career-ready side, Snell said 90 percent of the TRM seniors earned “work key certificates,” or the state certification which declares the student has verifiable work skills.

“And that is well-above the state average,” he said.

Snell said he recently met with TRM faculty to find out “their secret.”

“There were a number of answers, but the top three were this – one, you parents have high expectations for the student and the school; two, there are great traditions at T.R. Miller High School. The motto is ‘legacy of greatness,’ and that is not just on the football field. It’s everywhere from the local business community to the classrooms.

“And lastly, you have no belief in excuses,” he said. “You want that bar, that continuation of greatness goes higher and higher. In Brewton, you make sure you have the culture to produce that kind of product. I don’t plan to change that. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Snell said he has an open-door policy and invites parents and community members to visit the TRM campus.