Dr. James Hatcher
2000 Distinguished in Education
James "Mickey" Hatcher is giving back to the community and school system that taught him. Currently, he is the principal of Unicoi Elementary School and Tennessee's Elementary Principal of the Year for the 2000 school year. He has also been nominated for Tennessee's National Distinguished Principal Award for 2000.A distinguished alumnus of Unicoi County High School, Hatcher attended East Tennessee State University where he received his bachelor's in health and physical education and corrective therapy in 1972, a master's in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1983, and a doctorate of Educational Administration in 1994.
Hatcher began his career in 1973 as a drafting instructor at Unicoi County Vocational School. Since then he has held various positions within the Unicoi County School System as a resource teacher, classroom teacher, assistant principal, curriculum director of grades 9 - 12, and several principalships. He has been in administration for the last 16 years. During his years in education, he has also coached several athletic teams including girls and boys basketball and football at the junior high level. Hatcher served as assistant coach for the boys basketball and baseball teams at the secondary level, with two state championships in baseball. Hatcher has also been an adjunct faculty member at Tusculum College, where he taught graduate-level courses in the Master of Education program, including Curriculum and Technology.
In addition to teaching, Hatcher is active in professional organizations in education, serving in several leadership roles. Currently he is the District 9 Director of the TAESP board of directors and chairman of the First District Principals Study Council. He was named to Who's Who in America 2000 and in Who's Who in the South and Southwest 21st Edition.
Hatcher is also an active member in his community, serving as treasurer of the Unicoi Ruritan Club, County Commissioner of Unicoi County 3rd District, and in Gideons International.
He is active in his church, Central Baptist Church, where he has served in numerous capacities including chairman of the deacons, Sunday School director, and treasurer for the past 20 years.
Hatcher is married to the former Ernestine Buchanan, who received an associate degree in nursing from ETSU in 1977. They reside in Erwin and have one son, Chris, and they are expecting their first grandchild in May of this year.