The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy will reach a historic milestone this week by holding its first graduation ceremony on Friday. The inaugural ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. at the Chauncey-Goode Auditorium on the campus of Tennessee Temple University.
Founded in 2009, CGLA serves girls in grades six through 12 and was the first single-gender public charter school in Tennessee and the first approved public charter school in Hamilton County. CGLA was also the first school in the county to focus its academic program on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), a model that has been expanded to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum.
“I’m so proud to have worked with CGLA’s first graduating class,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, executive director of CGLA and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation. “Not only is this is a memorable time for us but also a monumental moment for CGLA. We’re excited for what the future holds for these thirteen young ladies and hope they will be an inspiration to all of the CGLA students to follow them.”
Valedictorian Tatanya Trotter, who has been with CGLA since the beginning, is looking forward to entering a new phase of her life as she pursues nursing at Chattanooga State Community College in the fall. “Being a member of CGLA’s first graduating class is very special to me,” said Ms. Trotter. “I hope that my fellow classmates and I will inspire the next generation of CGLA girls to work hard and follow their dreams.”
Students of CGLA’s class of 2013 have been accepted into several colleges and universities around the region, including Middle Tennessee State University, Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee State University and Sewanee: The University of the South. Students have also received scholarships from several organizations, including First Tennessee, Community Foundation Together We Can Scholarship Fund, Delta Sigma Theta, Executive Women International, Captain Paul R. Calloway Scholarship Fund, and Hyksos Temple No. 123.