Westover High School Principal William Chunn has been with the Dougherty County School System for the past 28 years. As a principal, Chunn is known as hard-nosed but fair and is famous for always promoting “The University of Westover.”
ALBANY, Ga. — William Chunn has been an educator and coach with the Dougherty County School system for 28 years. As the principal of Westover High School, Chunn regards his students as his personal charges and he takes his job seriously.
Deep down, however, Chunn remains a football coach at heart and his mind never strays far from the game. It was a football scholarship at then Albany State College which brought him to Dougherty County from his hometown of Brinkley, Ark., in 1983.
He’s been here ever since.
Since joining the DCSS, Chunn has been a teacher at Highland Middle, head girls track coach at Monroe High, head football coach at Monroe and assistant principal at Westover.
Q: Who was your role model or mentor in your current job?
A: When I was an athletic coach at Monroe and preparing to go into administration, Dr. John I. Davis allowed me to be an administrative mentee under his leadership. At least one day a week, Dr. Davis would allow me full control of the school. This experience was very valuable to my career as Dr. Davis was there to guide me when I made mistakes. I still remember all the lessons he taught me. Dr. Sally Whatley was also very instrumental in my career. She had the boldness to go against the grain and gave me the opportunity to be principal at Westover. She is a very fine educator and a super person. She taught me that my main focus as principal would be that of the instructional leader, it is my job to drive instruction. I carry this lesson with me daily. I will be forever grateful to these veteran educators.
Name: William Chunn
Born: Brinkley, Ark.
Education: Coahoma Jr. College, Clarksville, Miss. BS in Education, MA and Specialist degrees in Administration, Albany State University.
Position: Principal at Westover High School, 28 years with the Dougherty County School System
Personal: Married to the former Thelma Brown, the couple has three children — Ashley, Bill and Taylor.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked in the fields of Arkansas, chopping soybeans, picking cotton, and picking up stumps. I remember these days very well.
Q: What did you buy with your first paycheck?
A: I recall giving my mother some money; money was very scarce in my family as I am child number 13 of 15. I also purchased my school clothes for the upcoming year.
Q: How did you find yourself
in your current profession?
A: My father passed when I was 10 years old. I wanted to become a coach to honor the two coaches that took me under their wings, Coach Robert Manson and Coach Herbert Williams, both of Brinkley, Ark. They kept me on the straight and narrow in the absence of my father and assisted me in getting a football scholarship. I will be forever grateful to these men.
Q: If stranded on an island, what three items would you want to have?
A: Matches to make a fire. Flares to signal for help, and a life jacket to make a swim for it. If I am stranded on a island, it’s all about getting off. I have no plans to stay.
Q: What motivates you each day?
A: I am motivated by the day-to-day interaction with the students. I look forward to seeing them each day. It is a great feeling knowing that you have the ability to assist students, our leaders of tomorrow and make a difference in their lives.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: I really want to see all of our students become successful in life. I get frustrated when students make bad decisions, especially those students that decide to break the law. I was taught at an early age that trouble is easy to get into but hard to get out of. I am always disappointed when students get arrested.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I enjoy spending time with my family. We watch “Family Feud” nightly to see who can come up with the number one answers. I am still the reigning champ in the family. I enjoy going to dinner once a month with my friends. I really enjoy working in the yard. If I had the time, I would mow the lawn daily.
Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the education profession?
A: You will not get rich in this profession, but it is a very honorable and rewarding. Remember to keep the main thing the main thing. In education it’s all about the students.
Q: If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A: It would be my mother, Cora Chunn, she passed away in 2009, She was my hero. I watched her work odd jobs all of her life to provide for her family. We were raised in a three-bedroom trailer on government assistance. Although we did not have much money, she always gave us hope for a better tomorrow. She taught us to love each other and to trust in God. I am very proud to be her son.
Q: What is your favorite piece of technology?
A: I am not big on technology. I recently traveled to Arkansas and my nieces and nephews laughed at me because I had a flip cell phone. My favorite piece of office technology would be the plain old office telephone.
Q: If you were not in education, what would you be doing?
A: I would be a full time college football coach. I have a real passion for coaching football. I am very
fortunate to have the opportunity to coach on the Albany State
University football staff on weekends.
Q: When you retire, how would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?
A: That I was paid to do a job
and I got the job done. I came to work every day and I gave it my best daily.