Smyrna High School

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Mr. Rick Powell, Principal
Mr. Powell has been in education since 1974. He began his profession in Nashville at an inner city junior high then moved to Rutherford County. He taught one year at Thurman Francis Junior High. Then, Mr. Powell moved to Waldron Junior High where he taught math, science and physical education and was an assistant as well as head football coach until he moved to Smyrna High School. Here he has taught math and biology and coached football and track. In 1995, he was selected as an assistant principal by Mr. Raikes and remained in that position until being selected as Principal when Mr. Raikes retired.

Mr. Powell and his wife, Debbie, have been married 42 years, have 2 children, Courtney and Corbin and 3 grandchildren. Debbie recently retired as a school counselor with the Rutherford County School system. His favorite teams, other than the Smyrna Bulldogs, include the Tennessee Titans and The Crimson Tide of Alabama.

He is honored to be the Principal of Smyrna with a great faculty and staff to carry on the tradition of pride, academic and athletic excellence. Mr. Powell is very grateful for all the support of SHS from the Town of Smyrna.
Mr. Billy Harris, Assistant Principal
Mr. Harris, after graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in 1990, went to work for the Dept. of Energy and Martin Marietta as a Chemist in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After five years in Oak Ridge, he decided to go into education and coaching, and returned to MTSU for education certification. He taught biology and coached football from 1996-1998 at Rhea County High School in Dayton, TN.

In 1998 he married his beautiful wife Carol and moved from the hills of East Tennessee to Smyrna, Tennessee. He began teaching science and coaching football at Smyrna High in 1998, and remained in that post until 2005. In 2006, he was promoted to his current position of Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

Mr. Harris obtained his M.Ed., and later his Ed.S, from Middle Tennessee State University. Mr. Harris loves working at Smyrna High school and seeing and getting to know all of the wonderful people at SHS. He also loves spending time with his family which includes his two beautiful daughters ages 16 and 14. His summers are usually spent enjoying the beaches of South Carolina and playing golf. He also enjoys rooting for his favorite college football team, the University of Tennessee Volunteers.
Dr. Joel Rowlett, Assistant Principal

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Middle Tennessee State University

Master of Education, Middle Tennessee State University

Specialist in Education, Middle Tennessee State University

Master of Science in Teaching Mathematics, Middle Tennessee State University

Doctor of Philosophy, Middle Tennessee State University


Dissertation Thesis: The Psychosocial Factors Contributing to the Underrepresentation of African American Males in Advanced High School Mathematics Courses


Administrator, Rutherford County Schools

Adjunct Mathematics Professor, Middle Tennessee State University

Adjunct Mathematics Professor, Nashville State Community College

Education Consultant

Personal Mathematics Tutor

Dr. Sherri Southerland, Assistant Principal
Dr. Southerland has been in education for twenty years, and an assistant principal for 13. She was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania and her heart remains with Pennsylvania sports teams. She started her career in Metro-Nashville schools and came to Smyrna High School in 2005 as an English teacher and head girls’ soccer coach.

Dr. Southerland graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in English and then again a few years later with her master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Carson Newman University in July of 2017.

Dr. Southerland has three children ages 20, 18 and 6. Dr. Southerland and her husband are avid sports fans and love to travel to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penn State Sports, and the University of Kentucky Football and Basketball. If not watching sports, they can be found enjoying time on their boat.
Mrs. Nicole Takayama, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Takayama is proud to have lived her whole life in Smyrna, TN. Throughout her childhood, Friday evenings were spent walking with family and neighbors to attend Bulldog football or basketball games at Smyrna High’s previous location on Hazelwood Dr. She was part of the first class of graduates to attend all four years of Smyrna High School at its current home on Bulldog Drive. After graduating from Smyrna High School, she attended MTSU where she earned her B.S. in Mathematics.

In 1998, she returned to Smyrna High School to begin her teaching career, working with students in Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Math Tech, ACT Prep, and Geometry classes for the next 14 years. During that time, Mrs. Takayama also served as the Dance Team Coach, Mu Alpha Theta Sponsor, SAT Chair, Respect and Protect Chair, Data Coordinator, Teacher Mentor, SACS Component Chair, PLC Leader, Homecoming Coordinator and various other duties as opportunities presented themselves. Through that time, she developed an even deeper love of all things Purple and Gold, and a better understanding of education and what it takes to serve students on the high school level. In 2007, she completed work on her M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision at MTSU, and in 2012 joined the administrative team at SHS.

Mrs. Takayama, her husband Tony, and their son, Tasman live in Smyrna, and enjoy seeing her current and former students around town. When they are not attending events at Smyrna High School, the family can frequently be found at the hockey rink watching the Predators or cheering on Tasman’s youth hockey team. Mrs. Takayama also enjoys cooking, photography, golf, hiking and traveling.