UT Leadership Academy Announces 2017–18 Fellows

The UT Leadership Academy has announced its class of fellows for the 2017–18 academic year. Now in its eighth year, the academy prepares talented educators from East Tennessee to become school principals. This year’s cohort includes educators from four school districts—Blount County, Knox County, Maryville City, and Union County Schools.

The full-time, intensive 15-month fellowship program is a part of UT’s Center for Educational Leadership and is based in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Front row L to R: Molly Rice, Oscar Osorio, Rukiya Foster, Megan Blevins, Rachel Hodges, Jamie Bowman, and April Partin. Back Row L to R: Michelle Clayton, Riley Brewer, Anita Johnson, Lindsey Stinnett, Spencer Long, William Smith, and Shaunna Foster.

Starting this August, Leadership Academy fellows will spend four days a week at a school with an experienced mentor principal. The fifth day will be spent in coursework and seminars with professors and expert practitioner partners learning the research and theory behind great school leadership.

The 2017­–18 cohort of the Leadership Academy is composed of 14 fellows:

Megan Blevins is a school administrator at Mooreland Heights Elementary School. Blevins has broad experience as a classroom teacher, having taught first and second grade at Ritta and Carter Elementary Schools and as an ESL teacher at several schools. She also served in the system-wide role of district lead teacher. Blevins has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s in teaching degree from the University of Arkansas.

Jamie Bowman is an assistant principal at Horace Maynard Middle School in Union County. She previously served as an instructional facilitator and sixth grade English/language arts teacher at Maynard Middle. Bowman has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UT as well as a Master of Education degree in administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Riley Brewer is a master teacher at Carter High School, where she provides instructional coaching support to teachers as well as developmental evaluative feedback. She previously served as an English teacher for grades 10 through 12 and as a mentor teacher at Carter High School, and began her teaching career at Rhea County High School. Brewer has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education English from Tennessee Technological University.

Michelle Clayton serves West High School as an administrative assistant. She has significant school leadership experience, having served as the correctional principal at the Mountain View Youth Development Center and as teaching principal for the New Pathways Academy at the Florence Crittenton Agency. Clayton also taught at Richard Yoakley Alternative School. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree in educational administration from UT.

Rukiya Foster is a Spanish teacher and World Languages Department head at Austin-East Magnet High School. Previously, Foster taught Spanish at Farragut High School. She has been involved with the Project GRAD summer institute and serves as the administrative coordinator for Austin-East Roadrunner football. Foster has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in secondary education from UT.

Shaunna Foster is an instructional coach who has served Green Magnet Academy and Chilhowee Intermediate School. Foster was previously a teacher at Belle Morris Elementary School for several years after professional job in the private sector. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Austin Peay State University as well as master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and an Education Specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Rachel Hodges is a secondary English teacher and classroom support coach at Union County High School, where she has taught since 2013. She has served as a professional learning committee leader for the past few years, and sits on the school leadership committee. Hodges has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UT and earned her teacher licensure through a post-baccalaureate program at Lincoln Memorial University.

Anita Johnson serves Austin-East High School as an administrative assistant. Johnson served for many years as a secondary English teacher and teacher mentor at Bearden High School, and before that at Oak Ridge High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida State University.

Spencer Long is an assistant principal and athletic director at Karns High School. Long previously taught AP biology and anatomy and physiology at Halls High School, where he also served as a lead teacher. He began his teaching career at Jefferson County High School. Long has a bachelor’s degree in biology for health sciences from Carson-Newman University.

Oscar Osorio is the assistant principal at Union Grove Middle School in Blount County. Prior to this appointment, he taught seventh and eighth grade science and served on the leadership team at Heritage Middle School. Before joining Blount County Schools in 2000, Osorio began his teaching career in Miami, Florida. Osorio has a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University as well as master’s degrees in science education and educational administration, supervision, and leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

April Partin is an assistant principal at Green Magnet Academy. Previously, Partin served as an assistant principal at A. L. Lotts Elementary School. She also taught third- and fifth-grade students as a classroom teacher at A. L. Lotts and served as a lead teacher. Partin has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in elementary education from UT, as well as an Education Specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.

Molly Rice is the assistant principal at Sam Houston Elementary School in Maryville. Prior to this appointment, she had been a classroom teacher at Sam Houston Elementary, serving third and fourth grades. Rice began her teaching career in Westmoreland, Kansas. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UT.

William Smith teaches second grade and serves as a lead teacher at Lonsdale Elementary School. Previously, Smith was a classroom teacher at Inskip Elementary School. In 2016, he was named Knox County Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in human ecology and a master’s degree in child and family studies from UT.

Lindsey Stinnett is a master teacher, eighth-grade English teacher and the English/Language Arts Department chair at Vine Middle Magnet School. Previously, Stinnett served as an English teacher and instructional coach at West High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University as well as master’s degrees in public administration and in theory and practice in teacher education from UT.

To complete the academy’s program, participants will lead an action research capstone project that integrates their learning across the many curricular areas of the academy, and complete an electronic portfolio documenting proficiency in school leadership.

Upon successful completion of the program, fellows are awarded a master’s or education specialist degree, and will be eligible to earn a license to be a school principal in Tennessee.

 

CONTACT:

Jim McIntyre (865-974-2214, jmcinty5@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)