His chance came toward the end of the 2011-2012 school year when the position of principal opened at Oak Grove Elementary School.
His journey toward administration began while teaching at BCHS.
“A leadership role was something I was interested in taking on,” Watson said.
Watson said he began “serving on different committees and acting as a substitute administrator when they were off campus … working with the school improvement plan, and working with the new advisory plan.”
Watson also taught at Lake Forest Middle School when it was Trewhitt Junior High, and coached football at BCHS.
“The football part of it gave me a chance to do what I wanted to do at the time which was teach biology,” Watson said.
In 2001, Watson began his career at Bradley as the head freshman coach and a biology teacher.
“Two years ago I decided to get out of coaching to be able to do more things with my family,” Watson said.
This is when he began pursuing leadership opportunities.
Now, he is excited for his first professional experience with elementary education.
“I’ve always really kind of envisioned myself to be a secondary person to be a high school principal or a high school assistant principal,” Watson said. “I’ve been a secondary person my whole career.”
Watson’s wife, Holly, works at Hopewell Elementary School where their son, Knox, attends second grade.
Although he did not attend Oak Grove as a student, Watson does have a bit of history with the school.
”My mom was a third grade teacher right down the hall here at Oak Grove for years she taught here,” Watson said. “… It’s kind of interesting this is where she finished her career and this is where I am kind of restarting my career.”
Family had an impact on Watson’s choice to go into teaching.
“I went into education because I am a fifth generation teacher in my family … there was something about teaching that I could relate to,” Watson said.
Watson said he is looking forward to the start of the school year, so that he can see more of how the school runs and “getting to know elementary instruction.”
“I’m really going to spend a lot of this first year just kind of evaluating how this school operates, and kind of seeing what are some of the things about it I like, what are some things I might want to change, get a lot of input from the teachers,” Watson said.
Watson said this summer has been spent in getting ready for the new school year. He said he has already been in meetings with some of the staff about implementing the new Common Core standards rolling out in some grades this year.
“I really have to start looking at all of these students as if they’re my own. To me that’s where you start making progress in the school,” Watson said, “because obviously everyone wants the best for their own kids.”
Born and raised in Bradley County, Watson has only really left the area to attend college. He and his family now live in the house where he grew up.
In fact, Knox’s bedroom is the same one Watson had as a boy.
Watson grew up attending University of Tennessee football games. Later, he followed in his parents’ footsteps and attended the university.
He is still a big fan of the UT Vols football team.
“For me it’s a very personal thing because I spent a lot of time there as a student.” Watson said.
When not at work, the principal likes outdoor activities, including camping, boating, swimming and running. He enjoys vacations on the beach.