Statement from Senator Ken Yager regarding Education Leadership Development Announcement

“I am very pleased that funds will be coming into Roane County as a result of this grant,” said Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman).  “School leadership is critical to education excellence.  We have set high goals in graduating more Tennessee students with both high school and post-secondary degrees.  Partnerships like this will help us meet these goals through effective leadership.”   




The Grant for Roane County is listed below:


University of Tennessee/Knox, Roane, Morgan, and Blount School Districts $269,472.78

The University of Tennessee Center for Educational Leadership will partner with the above districts in a Replication grant to achieve the following four goals:

Increase the number of aspiring administrators in the pipeline for participating school districts.
Build a database concerning administrative strengths and weaknesses and skill sets of administrative aspirants and new administrators in participating school districts.
Increase the ability of administrators to build effective teaching and school leadership teams through reflective practice, peer coaching, and mentoring by utilizing strategic team building, and leadership skills based on Gallup Principal Insight, Gallup Strengths Finder, and NAASP Leadership Skills Assessment results.
Increase the ability of administrators to empower their schools to embrace accountability by framing leadership and evaluation structures around Common Core Curriculum, TAP, and TEAM frameworks.



A copy of the press release from the Tennessee Department of Education is below:


Tennessee Invests $4 Million in Race to the Top Funds to Develop School Leaders


NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Education has pledged nearly $4 million in Race to the Top funds to pay for eight leadership development programs, which will impact future school leaders in more than 20 districts across the state.


The TN LEAD grants were awarded to organizations in partnership with one or more school systems, to either develop or replicate programs aimed at increasing leader effectiveness and improving student outcomes. The programs will target current and pre-service educators, in order to deepen the pipeline of effective leaders in Tennessee schools.


A key requirement of the grant was to show evidence that the proposed programs were sustainable, said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.


“Training educators to be future leaders is one of the most important things we can do to ensure the sustainability of our work,” Huffman said. “Having effective principals and district leaders in place will make sure our efforts to improve education continue to pay off many years down the road.”


There were 20 applicants for the competitive TN LEAD grants. Eight recipients received funds, for a total of about $4 million. The programs target teachers who want to be principals, those who seek a teacher-leader role in their school, as well as district personnel who hope to serve in a school leadership position. The winners represent a wide range of innovative approaches, including university-based programs, a rural collaborative, and a multi-district partnership with top principals in China. The leadership development programs will begin this month and continue through July 2014.


Paul Fleming, the department’s executive director of leadership development, and former principal of Metro Nashville’s Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, said that next to teachers, a highly effective leader is the number one factor that impacts student achievement at a school.


“Principals are the gatekeepers; they either encourage high-quality innovation, or they keep it out. They set the tone for the entire building,” he said. “With some of Tennessee’s important initiatives like the Common Core State Standards, there has never been a more important time to have effective leaders in place.”


Please see the attached document for more information about the eight TN LEAD grant recipients.



For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or [email protected].




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