School Leadership

Great schools require great leaders. Education leaders are identified, developed, and supported through the Leadership Pipeline, a collaboration with Hamilton County Department of Education.

Support for New Principals

We know being  a principal is a tough job. As part of the Leadership Pipeline, all first, second, and third year principals are paired with a successful, retired principal who has been extensively trained to coach these new principals.  Each principal coach spends at least one full day a week with first-year principals providing support and advice and is also “on-call” around the clock.  Second and third-year principals and their coaches organize their own meeting schedule, but spend a minimum of 20 days together throughout the year.  The coaches come together on a regular basis to collaborate and share what’s working, solve problems, and learn best practices.

2017-2018 Coaches

       Coach                                   Principal

Paula Burgner                 Dionne Upton – Woodmore Elementary

Karen Day                         Andrea Edmondson – Red Bank Middle

Steve Holmes                  Elaine Harper– Red Bank High

Bob Jenkins                     Steve Henry – Soddy Daisy High

Ismahen Kangles           David Carpenter – Brown Middle

Ismahen Kangles           Angie Cass – East Ridge Middle

Susan Kennedy              Jeff Paulson – Thrasher Elementary

Susan Kennedy              Ruthie Panni – DuPont Elementary

Susan Kennedy              Vonetta Maston – Hillcrest Elementary

Faye Pharr                       Megan Bray – Calvin Donaldson Elementary

Joanne Smith                 Lindsay Starnes – Clifton Hills Elementary

Joanne Smith                 Nikki Bailey – Rivermont Elementary

Jean Trohanis                 Jeana Johnson – Big Ridge Elementary

Edna Varner                    Tiffany Earvin – Orchard Knob Middle

Edna Varner                    Arielle Hayes – Dalewood Middle


Rather than simply pairing a new principal with a coach and hoping for the best, all the coaches participate in an intensive, three day training camp designed by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and delivered by national trainers.  The training camp focuses on developing the key skills coaches need to have to improve the performance of new principals.

Seven of the coaches have gone through NAESP’s eight month program in order to earn a national certification- more than any other district in the nation.  Their additional work not only increases the skills of these seven coaches, it also ensures that we have the capacity to train future coaches.

National Certified Coaches

NAESP-certified Coaches