Top 10 Highlights of the 2019-2020 School Year #4 – Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson recognized as a Leader To Learn From by Education Week
Posted on 05/18/2020
Photo:  Dr. Bryan Johnson on the cover of the EdWeek Leaders To Learn From Magazine.We are reviewing the Top #10 highlights of 2019-2020 as we wind down to the end of a very unusual but successful school year. The highlight at #4 is Education Week recognizing Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson as one of their Leaders To Learn From for 2020.

Education Week, an independent news organization covering K-12 education since 1981, announced in February that Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, is one of their Leaders to Learn From for 2020. Education Week honored Dr. Johnson for leadership in career and technical education, his vision to bring Future Ready Institutes to Hamilton County Schools, and their impact on preparing graduates to be ready for future success. Education also selected Dr. Johnson for the cover of the Leaders To Learn From magazine edition.

Each year, Education Week identifies some of the nation’s most exceptional school district leaders and shines a spotlight on their extraordinary contribution to the success of educators and children in its Leaders To Learn From special report. Education Week looks for leading-edge district leaders who seize on smart ideas, skillfully execute them, and are seeing promising results for their students and school communities. The honor includes a feature story about each leader and a video of the leader at work in the schools and community they serve. You can read the interview available on the Education Week Leaders To Learn From website.

“We’re so proud of this year’s crop of creative and inspiring leaders. They prove that every day, committed educators make good on the promise of public schooling,” said Denisa Superville, an editor on the Leaders To Learn From project. “These leaders offer great lessons for their peers to emulate, and we’re pleased to give them the recognition they deserve, but often don’t get to hear.”

Future Ready Institutes began in the fall of 2017 in Hamilton County Schools and challenged the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. Teachers of all content areas, including English, math, science, and social studies, work closely with the career theme teacher to provide classroom instruction through the lens of a career. The goal is for students to clearly understand why a classroom lesson is important and how young learners will use the information in the future. Themes in the institutes include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality, technology, and more. There are 29 Future Institute programs now available for high school students in Hamilton County Schools.

Local businesses and industries have joined the district to provide professional expertise for the institutes by sharing resources, offering intern experiences, redesigning lab and classroom space, and putting the organization’s name on the institute. Leading area organizations now partnering with an institute include Erlanger Hospital, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, EPB, See Rock City, Inc., Bryan College, BlueCross, and CHI Memorial Hospital. Unum provided funding for teacher training to get Future Ready Institutes started, and J.P Morgan Chase also supported the work with funding to get the program off the ground.

The success of the institutes spread early as The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga awarded the program its Community Impact Award in the first year. Word spread to Washington, D. C. this year and resulted in a visit by Frank Brogan, U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education. Brogan stopped at Tyner Academy to see students and teachers at work.

“The students in this program are doing things that I did not do until I was well into my college program,” said Brogan. “Instead of just thinking about a topic, these students are actually doing the work, and that is incredible and significant to the future of students in our schools.”

Top 10 for 2019-2020

#10 – Six new Future Ready Institutes added along with new branded community partners
# 9 – 20 schools receive a grant from Usher and Little Kids Rock
# 8 – Dr. LeAndrea Ware named Tennessee Principal of the Year, and Howard honored by Bill Gates
# 7 - Office of Innovation and Choice begins with HCS recognized as a global leader in Fab Labs
# 6 – Five schools in Hamilton County Schools earn STEM School Designation from the state
# 5 – Student Success Plans in Hamilton County Schools featured in Harvard Publication
# 4 – Superintendent Dr. Johnson recognized as a Leader To Learn From by Education Week

Photo: Dr. Bryan Johnson on the cover of the EdWeek Leaders To Learn From Magazine.