Ooltewah Elementary principal resigns after 6 months, longtime HCDE admin takes over

Hamilton County Schools says Dr. Frank Fischel (left) resigned as Ooltewah Elementary principal last week, and longtime administrator Karen Hollis (right) is returning to the district in his place. (Images: Hamilton Co. Schools, WTVC)

Just as school resumes in Hamilton County, Ooltewah Elementary School is under new leadership after a recent hire resigned after only months on the job.

Hamilton County Schools said in a statement Tuesday that Dr. Frank Fischel resigned last week. He joined the school district in February 2019 from Flanders, New Jersey where he was an elementary school principal from 2010 to 2018.

The school district did not elaborate on Dr. Fischel's resignation.

In his place, longtime administrator Karen Hollis has returned from a short retirement to serve as Ooltewah Elementary's principal.

According to Hamilton County Schools, Hollis started her career as a classroom teacher in the community at Howard Elementary School, where she taught from 1988 to 2001. She was selected the Howard Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1990.

The district says Hollis began to work in administration in 2001 as she was selected to be an assistant principal at Hardy Elementary, where she served until 2006. Hollis was selected as the principal at Ganns Middle Valley Elementary school in 2006 and became an award-winning principal in the district. She was the 2008-2009 PTA Principal of the Year, the 2011 Hamilton County Schools Principal of the Year, and the 2011 Tennessee Southeast Region Principal of the Year.

She moved to district administration in 2011 as the elementary operation director for Hamilton County Schools. Hollis’ retired as director of elementary teaching and learning for the district in 2019.

Hollis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and master’s from Trevecca Nazarene University.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off