District opens applications for the second class of Leadership Hamilton County Schools
Posted on 06/19/2019
Photo of Miles HuffThe first group of community leaders to participate in Leadership Hamilton County Schools last year were enthusiastically supportive of the new experience the school district offered to citizens to provide a “behind the scenes” look at the rewards and challenges of preparing the community’s children for future success. The second class of Leadership Hamilton County Schools is coming this fall to foster another group of informed citizen leaders to help transform our community.
“We have been able to see all of the amazing things that the educators in Hamilton County Schools are doing to change the trajectory for our students,” commented Miles Huff, in community relations for Unum and a 2019 graduate of Leadership Hamilton County Schools. “I am really grateful for the experience.”

The series of sessions for the new class will begin in September and run through April of 2020. Participants in Leadership Hamilton County Schools will experience the district’s vision accelerate student achievement found in the strategic plan Future Ready 2023, governance processes in public education, how the district is preparing graduates for success, developing a school district budget, and engaging the community in the success of our schools. The participants will even have the opportunity to become a “principal for a day” to see what it is like to run a public school.
Photo of Sabrena Smedley
“I think people underestimate the amount of work involved in being a school principal,” said Christine Bespalec-Davis, manager of school and teacher programs at the Hunter Museum of American Art, and a 2019 graduate of the HCS leadership program, after her experience shadowing Debbie Smith, principal of Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. “There is never a moment that something isn’t happening.” 2019 Hamilton County Schools graduate Sabrena Smedley, a local real estate agent and County Commission Chairwoman, recounted her day shadowing Jim Boles, principal of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. “A lot of teachers I met were former students of CSAS, so it is like a big family, and they had great things to say about their principal,” Smedley said. “He’s doing a great job. He needs a raise.”

Leadership Hamilton County Schools will broaden participants knowledge of the school district, equip community leaders to respond to the challenges faced by Hamilton County Schools and public education, and provide connections between community leaders.

The size of the class is limited, so complete your application today. The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. Monday, August 5, 2019, with notification coming to those selected to be in the second Leadership HCS class by August 15, 2019. Tuition for the seven-session program is only $100. Applicants are required to reside or be employed within Hamilton County and be at least 21 years of age at the time of application.

“Leadership Hamilton County has shown me the dedication, effort, and commitment the current leadership team has to excellence,” said Joshua Sneideman, vice president of Learning Blade and a graduate of the first class of Leadership Hamilton County Schools. “I am excited that I was able to be a part of this group and more excited that my daughters are in Hamilton County Schools.”

The tentative program schedule. (Exact dates will be announced before the class is finalized.)

Session #1 September, 2019 8:00-12:00 HCS Vision: District Overview
Session #2 October 2019, 8:00-12:00 Governance in Public Education
Session #3 November 2019 8:00-12:00 Future Ready Education in the 21st Century
Session #4 January 2020 Principal for a Day
Session #5 February 2020 8:00-12:00 Efficient and Effective Operations
Session #6 March 2020 8:00-12:00 Engaged Community
Session #7 April 2020 8:00-12:00 HCS Budget/Graduation

Be a part of the second class of Leadership Hamilton County Schools! Send your application today.

Link to application for Leadership Hamilton County Schools

To nominate someone for Leadership Hamilton County Schools

If you have questions or need more information about the program, contact Kate Skonberg at skonberg_kate@hcde.org.

Photos: (Top) Miles Huff, (Right) Sabrena Smedley