HCDE Awarded State of Tennessee Principal Pipeline Grant

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. – The Hamilton County Department of Education will receive a portion of the more than $1 million Principal Pipeline Partnership grant provided by Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen.

The grants support leadership models that develop or improve innovative and high-impact school leader programs. The nine principal pipeline models that have been approved for funding will train a total of 160 aspiring school leaders across the state.

Assistant Superintendent of School Operations, Zac Brown, said the grant will be used, in part, to create the Gateway Principals Residency initiative at HCDE in which some of the most talented current school leaders take on a bigger role in preparing our next principals. “One of the district’s top priorities is to have great leadership in all of our schools. This grant allows us to not only recruit the next generation of great principals, but retain them,” Brown said.

HCDE Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson said HCDE plans to use the grant to support leaders across the district. “We want to be the fastest improving school district in Tennessee. Every student deserves an education that prepares them for post-secondary opportunities. Having great leaders in every building is one of the ways we achieve that goal,” Dr. Johnson said.

The Public Education Foundation played a key role in obtaining the grant funding. PEF President Dan Challener agreed that strong leadership is a vital component of any successful school. “PEF knows that great schools require great leaders. This is why we continue to support the Leadership Pipeline, Leadership Fellows, the Principal Leadership Academy, and continuously offer support to new principals across HCDE,” Challener said.The Benwood Foundation has also supported the Leadership work and was also instrumental in helping the district secure the grant.

Last summer, the state launched the Tennessee Transformational Leadership Alliance (TTLA) to serve as a leader pipeline incubator and help districts develop a deeper pool of high-quality leaders.

In order to be selected for the grants, partnerships were required to articulate a four-year plan for either a new model or an existing model to improve.The four-year plan submitted with each application required three program elements: principal residency training content, bridge support for candidates between program completion and placement, and an induction program for these newly placed leaders.

HCDE will announce more details about the Gateway Principals Residency plan in the near future.

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