Principal Leadership Academy Graduates Third Class Of Aspiring Leaders

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eleven aspiring school leaders in Hamilton County celebrated a year of intense training and mentorship. As the third class to graduate from the Principal Leadership Academy, these assistant principals have spent the last year learning from business mentors and education experts in preparation for running a school in the future.

“I am excited to see another class of assistant principals graduate from the Principal Leadership Academy,” said Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith. “As a former principal in Hamilton County, I understand the enormous responsibility of running a school. I am so pleased that we are able to offer our aspiring leaders one of the most innovative leadership development programs in the country that combines instructional leadership with business mentor support.  In my opinion, leadership development is one of the most important areas for us to invest.”

Launched in the summer of 2010, the Principal Leadership Academy is the result of a partnership between Hamilton County schools, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Public Education Foundation and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Academy works to help prepare aspiring principals for the rigors of successfully leading a school.  The program focuses providing future school leaders with training in how to achieving high academic standards, but also includes a significant business component to help principals with tasks such as finances, human resources and management.  Each Academy participant is assigned a business mentor who provides input and advice on leadership issues over the course of the year.

Cissy Williams, vice president of Global Programs at Unum Group, is a mentor to Julie Fine, assistant principal at Wallace A. Smith Elementary.  “Helping to develop leaders is an important part of my job at Unum, so I was pleased to be asked to be a mentor to an aspiring principal.  I have enjoyed spending time in the building with Ms. Fine and getting a firsthand look at the challenges and rewards of running a school.  The experience has reinforced what I know from the business world – we must help develop and support leaders in our schools if we want to continue improving public education,” said Ms. Williams.

As director of the Principal Leadership Academy, Bill Kennedy has seen the impact of the Principal Leadership Academy firsthand.  “These 11 graduates join the 23 graduates from the first cohort who are using the knowledge gained from the Academy to help transform schools.  It has been truly inspiring to watch these future leaders grow over the course of this year.  I can’t wait to see how they impact the teachers and students in their buildings.”

The 2013 graduates and mentors of the Principal Leadership Academy include:

Participants                                                       Business Mentors

Allyson DeYoung                                              Tim Spires
Apison Elementary                                           Chattanooga Regional Manufacturing Association

Andrea Edmondson                                          Alan Lebovitz
Red Bank Middle                                               CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

Julie Fine                                                          Cissy Williams
Wallace A. Smith Elementary                          Unum

Patricia Holder                                                  Dana Perry
Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper               Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.

Gail Huffstutler                                                  Heather Stalvey
Bess T. Shepherd Elementary                         Alstom Power, Inc.

Phil Iannarone                                                   Talley Clower
East Lake Academy                                         Cohutta Banking Company

Lesa Johnson                                                   Jim Callihan
Central High                                                      Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain

Julia King                                                          Michael Jones
CSAS Upper                                                     EPB

Michele Reeves                                                 Dave McMahon
East Brainerd Elementary                                 Unum

Mark Smith                                                        Travis Lytle
The Howard School                                          Cornerstone Community Bank

Callie Stewart                                                    Shelley Prevost
Hixson Elementary                                            Lamp Post Group

Funding for the Principal Leadership Academy includes support from Unum Group, Joe Davenport, McKenzie Foundation, Hamilton County Department of Education and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. 

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