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U of M Receives Grant for Innovative Program for School Administrators

For release: May 8, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

The Tennessee Department of Education has awarded the University of Memphis a $777,894 TN LEAD grant over the next year to conduct an intensive training program for principals and other school administrators. The program helps principals work with teachers to incorporate best instructional practices that will lead to improved student performance.

These funds, awarded to the state of Tennessee through a U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top grant, will enhance principals’ effectiveness as instructional leaders in their schools, a role that goes beyond the traditional school management model.

Forty-eight school administrators from eight school districts in the Southwest Tennessee Rural Educational Cooperative and the new unified Shelby County School District will participate in the Executive Development Program created by the National Institute for School Leadership. Dr. Jim Mitchell, school leader in residence in the U of M’s Department of Leadership, will direct the project.

Led by successful retired superintendents, the highly interactive sessions will help principals improve the alignment of their curriculum framework, teaching materials and strategies, as well as foster a collaborative culture within their schools. They will be able to model innovative teaching strategies that prepare students for the global marketplace.

The priorities for effective principals have changed from oversight of custodial, bus and cafeteria operations. The focus today is to provide guidance to teachers to engage students in collaborative projects that apply learning and integrate technology to solve real-world problems.

This leadership training program has the potential to impact the quality of education for approximately 185,000 students in West Tennessee.

“The Department of Leadership in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences has an excellent record of preparing effective school principals,” said Mitchell. “The award will provide a new opportunity to enhance school leadership in eight school districts in southwest Tennessee. As a former school principal and school district superintendent, I look forward to the opportunity to work with the 48 school leaders selected for the LEAD grant program.”

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Last Updated: 5/8/13