Twenty-five assistant principals in Tennessee have been selected to participate in a 2017 fellowship program aimed at cultivating and nurturing future school leaders.

The Governor’s Academy for School Leadership is a partnership of the state of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, and local school districts. The program is designed to build Tennessee’s pipeline of highly trained principals, and the 2017 fellows will comprise its second class.

Effective school principals can be key players in improving schools for students and teachers alike, research says.

“We have raised expectations, invested more in education and are making huge strides in education in Tennessee,” Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday in announcing the 2017 fellows. “Our students and teachers have stepped up to the challenge, and we need strong school leadership to support them and continue the momentum.”

Each assistant principal will be paired with an experienced principal mentor and attend monthly training sessions and a week-long summer institute at Vanderbilt, as well as intern three days each month at a mentor’s school. After completing the academy, participants will be expected to pursue placement as a school principal in their district or region.

Fellows were nominated by their district’s director of schools and selected through an application and interview process conducted by the Governor’s Office, the Tennessee Department of Education and Vanderbilt University.

The academy’s 2017 fellows and mentors are:

Participants

  • Courtney Whitehead, Carpenters Middle, Blount County
  • Justin Whittenbarger, Homestead Elementary, Cumberland County
  • Andrea Bledsoe, Charlotte Elementary, Dickson County
  • Sarah Gray, Mosheim Elementary, Greene County
  • Lindsay Starnes, Calvin Donaldson, Hamilton County
  • Cameshia Emerson, Bolivar Central High, Hardeman County
  • Krista Mann, Rogersville Middle, Hawkins County
  • Victoria Perry, Humboldt Junior and Senior High, Humboldt City
  • Melanie Simpson, Piedmont Elementary,  Jefferson County
  • James Wernke, Ross Robinson Middle, Kingsport City
  • Joann Bost, Carter Middle, Knox County
  • Ashley Booher, Gibbs Elementary, Knox County
  • David Ayers, Lara Kendall Elementary, Lake County
  • Patty Franks, Summertown Elementary, Lawrence County
  • Emma McWeeney, LEAD Southeast, Metro Nashville
  • Danielle Beckman, Forrest Middle and High, Marshall County
  • Shavoncia Watts, E.A. Cox Middle, Maury County
  • Marquis Churchwell, Joelton Middle Prep,  Metro Nashville
  • Celia Jolly, Overton High, Metro Nashville
  • Sandra Paschall,  Rhea Elementary, Paris Special School District
  • Chelsea Spaulding, Riverdale High, Rutherford County
  • Holly Kidder,  Sweetwater Junior High, Sweetwater City
  • Nathan Wade, Union County High, Union County
  • Bethany Wilson, West Wilson Middle, Wilson County
  • Candice Miller, Georgian Hills Elementary, Achievement School District

Mentors

  • April Herron, Middlesettlements Elementary, Blount County
  • Jennifer Magnusson, North Cumberland Elementary, Cumberland County
  • Crysti Sheley, Centennial Elementary, Dickson County
  • Amy Brooks, Nolachuckey Elementary, Greene County
  • Emily Baker, Brown Academy, Hamilton County
  • Darlene Cardwell, Middleton High, Hardeman County
  • Thomas Floyd, Cherokee High, Hawkins County
  • Jonathan Kee, Huntingdon High, Humboldt City
  • Michelle Walker, Maury Middle, Jefferson County
  • Chris Hampton, Dobyns-Bennett High, Kingsport City
  • Christine Oehler, Powell Middle, Knox County
  • Kristi Woods, East Knox Elementary, Knox County
  • Suzanne Keefe, Halls High, Lake County
  • Christy Crews, Ethridge Elementary, Lawrence County
  • Tait Danhausen, Cameron: A LEAD Public School, Metro Nashville
  • John Bush, Marshall County High, Marshall County
  • Leigh Ann Willey, Santa Fe Unit, Maury County
  • Kevin Armstrong, Dupont Hadley Middle Prep, Metro Nashville
  • Clint Wilson, Glencliff High, Metro Nashville
  • Norma Gerrell, Paris Special, Paris Special School District
  • Larry Creasy, Siegel High, Rutherford County
  • Heather Henry, Brown Intermediate, Sweetwater City
  • Greg Clay, Horace Maynard Middle, Union County
  • Christine Miller, Stoner Creek Elementary, Wilson County
  • Anne Thomas, Pathways in Education, Achievement School District