Stewart selected for Future Chiefs program
Posted on 01/11/2023
Stewart selected for Future Chiefs program

Chattanooga, Tenn. (January 11, 2023) -- Hamilton County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Sonia Stewart has been selected as part of the seventh cohort of Future Chiefs by the national organization Chiefs for Change.

Chiefs for Change operates on the premise that bold, sustained leadership is critical in order to have a highly effective education system that meets the needs of all students. Members of the organization lead state and district education systems that together include approximately seven million students, 410,000 teachers, and 11,500 schools.

The Future Chiefs program is building a pipeline of talented and diverse educators who are ready to lead state and large district systems. These emerging leaders participate in an 18-month program of collective learning about issues that are central to effective leadership and receive coaching and mentorship from Chiefs for Change members.

“Dr. Stewart’s selection for the Future Chiefs program is a great honor for her and for Hamilton County Schools,” said HCS Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson. “Dr. Stewart is already a recognized leader in the field of education, and her participation with Chiefs for Change will give her the opportunity to interact with other leaders across the country to learn, craft, and implement effective strategies that will benefit the students of Hamilton County. As a lifelong learner and teacher, her experiences will only serve to strengthen our district’s teaching and learning programs.”

Chiefs for Change is centered on the core beliefs that every child must have:

  • A safe and welcoming school;
  • Access to an excellent education;
  • Fully prepared teachers with the support they need to do their jobs well;
  • High-quality instructional materials; and
  • Reliable and affordable pathways to college and meaningful careers.

“I am honored to be invited to join the 2023 Cohort of Future Chiefs,” Stewart said. “The core beliefs of the Chiefs for Change organization align very closely with those of Hamilton County Schools, and I look forward to learning from and collaborating with those in our cohort and the ones that preceded us. Throughout the upcoming 18-month journey, I will be looking at best practices and new ideas from my colleagues that can be brought back to Hamilton County for the benefit of all our students.”

Dr. Sonia Stewart was named deputy superintendent for Hamilton County Schools in December 2021. In that role, she oversees the Teaching and Learning, Opportunities and Access, Social Emotional Academic Development, and School Supervision Departments.

She was previously community superintendent for the MidTown Learning Community within the district. In that role, she designed and implemented a robust turnaround plan that led to improved student achievement in all MidTown schools.

Prior to joining HCS, Stewart was the Executive Officer for Organizational Development in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). In this role, she designed the MNPS Leadership Framework, built robust leadership selection and development structures, collaboratively advanced talent acquisition and retention work, and enhanced district-wide equity frameworks. Stewart also served as a principal in MNPS. During her time as a campus leader, she was honored as the district’s Principal of the Year, and her school was recognized as a National School of Excellence by the Coalition of Community Schools and was featured in Edutopia's "Schools That Work" series.

Stewart has a doctorate in education, leadership, and policy from Vanderbilt University; a master's in educational leadership from Trevecca University; and a bachelor's in mathematics from Biola University.