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KNOXVILLE — Rick Rust, principal at Grundy County High School, has been awarded the William J. and Lucille H. Field Award in Support of Excellence in Tennessee Secondary School Leadership for 2011.

Rust has served the Grundy County school system for 39 years as a teacher, coach and principal. Administered by the UT Knoxville College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, the Field Award honors a secondary school principal whose life and work are characterized by excellence in leadership.

Rust is a first-generation college graduate and began his career teaching in the same elementary school that he attended, Coalmont School. He worked there as a teacher, coach and principal before moving to Grundy County High School in 2004. He is described as a hands-on principal who focuses on safety and making sure he is approachable to all students, parents and teachers.

Rust has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. He and his wife, Rose, have two grown children and six grandchildren.

The Field Award was established in 2001 to recognize one outstanding secondary school leader each year who demonstrates leadership excellence through commitment to the values of civility, candor, courage, social justice, responsibility, compassion, community, persistence, service and excellence. Recipients are chosen by a panel of UT faculty, graduate students and Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals. The award is funded through a UT endowment that was created by Joy Field Glass and her husband, L. Arnold Glass, and named in honor of her parents, the late William J. Field and wife, Lucille, who served in public education for their entire careers.


Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034,