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.