Return to Headlines

Changes at White Plains Academy

Ben Herron is the interim principal at WPA

Citing health and personal reasons, Joe Joe Matheney is taking a medical leave of absence as principal at White Plains Academy.

Matheney notified his WPA staff this morning about his medical leave.

“It has been a challenge, but it’s the most rewarding time I’ve ever had,” said Matheney about White Plains Academy. “I am blessed to have worked with the people at White Plains Academy and the other folks in the school system.”

Matheney has been in education for 39 years, with 36 of them in the Putnam County School System. He spent 11 years at Cookeville High, nine at Monterey High, and the last 16 at White Plains Academy.

“I appreciate what Mr. Matheney has done for White Plains Academy during his 16 years there and the 36 years in the Putnam County School System,” said King. “It’s not easy being the principal at White Plains Academy. Mr. Matheney mentors not only the students, faculty, and staff at White Plains but also me and many of our PCSS administrators. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during his medical leave of absence.”

Ben Herron, the assistant principal and athletics director at Algood Middle School, has been named the principal on an interim basis for the rest of the school year.

“We are excited to have someone as experienced as Ben to be able to step into this role,” said King. “He has the full support of the Central Office, and I know he will do a great job.”

Herron has spent five years at Algood Middle as the assistant principal and athletics director. Before his stint at AMS, Herron spent 13 years in the Putnam County School System as a SPED teacher.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to be in a position to work alongside some tremendous educators who have dedicated their lives to positively affecting students' lives not only through academics but also as mentors to the youth in Putnam County,” said Herron. “I look forward to the new challenges that this role presents. I am excited about the opportunity, and I appreciate Mr. King for having the confidence in me to lead this building. I can’t wait to start learning the building and have the opportunity to work alongside the faculty and staff there.”

Herron is in his 20th year in education, starting in Jackson County and later going to Macon County before settling in at Cornerstone Middle School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Master of Arts in SPED, and an ED.S. in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech University.

Herron takes over at White Plains, knowing he has some challenges in his first opportunity as a principal.

“I think the biggest challenge will be trying to fill Mr. Matheney's shoes. He is so well respected in this community and has positively influenced the students who attend White Plains,” Herron said. “Starting in the middle of the school year is always difficult, but I am excited, and my goal is to continue the work Mr. Matheney and his faculty have put forth to continue to grow student learning.”