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Kayla Shugart

Director of Development
Public Education Foundation

Kayla Shugart serves as the Director of Development for the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga, bringing a wealth of experience and a passion for community engagement to her role.

Kayla is a graduate of Hamilton County Schools. Her educational journey included Westview Elementary School, Ooltewah Middle School, Ooltewah High School, and the first graduating class of East Hamilton Middle/High School. While at East Hamilton, Kayla was appointed by Principal Pam Dantzler to the Student Advisory Board under former Superintendent Dr. Jim Scales. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Lee University.

Kayla began her career at the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, working in community investments before advancing to United Way Suncoast in Tampa, Florida. There, she led educational support initiatives in collaboration with Manatee County Schools, focusing on educational supports for Title 1 school zones and grassroots efforts with their families. Most recently, Kayla was the Director of Development for United Way of the Ocoee Region in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she excelled in managing relationships with corporate accounts, affinity group members, volunteers, and providing strategic marketing direction. Under her leadership, the UWOR's development department experienced notable growth in community engagement, revenue, and volunteerism.

Her professional strengths include strategic thinking, a strong belief system, futuristic vision, individualization, and the ability to activate teams around projects and initiatives. She is known as a creative problem solver, compelling storyteller, authentic connector, and passionate advocate.

She is also the President-elect for the Ooltewah Collegedale Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

Personal Philosophy:

Kayla believes in the power of community and connection to drive social change. Her philosophy is rooted in the idea that every individual has the potential to contribute positively to society when given the right support and opportunities. She is dedicated to fostering environments where education and community involvement intersect, creating a foundation for lifelong learning and engagement.

Personal Interests:

Kayla is married to her husband, Taylor Shugart, and they have a son, Max, who lights up their world. They reside in Cleveland, Tennessee, where their home is a hub of connection, laughter, community, belonging, and fun. The Shugart family enjoys staying active and exploring new restaurants, always finding joy in shared experiences with family and friends.

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