Reporter's Notebook: Chattanooga's Principal Leadership Academy graduates 10 in second class

Reporter's Notebook: Chattanooga's Principal Leadership Academy graduates 10 in second class

May 6th, 2012 by Kevin Hardy and Steve Hardy in News

Ten aspiring school principals wrapped up a year of intense training and mentorship as the second class to graduate from the Principal Leadership Academy, a partnership among the Public Education Foundation, the Hamilton County Department of Education, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The program's training focuses on ways to achieve high academic standards, but also includes business instruction to help principals with finances, human resources and management. All participants are paired with a local business mentor to work with throughout the year.

The following 10 assistant principals and their mentors completed the academy this spring:

• Kelly Coffelt, CSLA, and Jim Weigert, Comcast

• Chrissy Easterly, East Hamilton Middle High, and Thomas Loafman, Volkswagen of America

• Cheri Grant, Red Bank Elementary, and Kathy Owen, Unum

• Vanessa Harris, Orchard Knob Elementary, and Kim White, River City Co.

• Jacqueline Hauth, Westview Elementary, and Sydney Crisp, Unum

• Tommy Helton, East Ridge High, and Monique Berke, Unum

• Andrea Johnson, Lakeside Academy, and Mary Stewart Lewis, AT&T

• Kimberly Roden, Battle Academy, and Van Wardlaw, TVA

• LeAngela Rogers, Hunter Middle, and Rosemarie Hill, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel

• Greg Wilkey, Tyner Middle, and Robert Main, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation

Officials also announced next year's class of Principal Leadership Academy participants. The following assistant principals were selected for the 2013 class: Allyson DeYoung, Apison Elementary; Andrea Edmonson, Red Bank Middle; Julie Fine, Barger Academy; Patricia Holder, Rivermont Elementary; Gail Huffstutler, Bess T. Shepherd Elementary; Phil Iannarone, East Lake Academy; Lesa Johnson, Central High; Julia King, Brainerd High; Michele Reeves, East Brainerd Elementary; Mark Smith; Howard School of Academics and Technology; Callie Stewart, Woodmore Elementary.


After months of planning, Bike Chattanooga announced on April 25 its intent to begin a program Tuesday to ring in National Bike Month.

However, opening day has been pushed back again, this time to allow organizers to test each component of the software system that tracks the bikes, handles credit card information and performs various other functions, said general manager Jeremy Pomp.

By last Tuesday, bike racks, map stands and pay stations had been installed throughout downtown, but the bikes themselves were not at the kiosks.

Pomp said that the program would not announce a new start date because "we haven't been able to meet any we've set so far."


The Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts received an $8,950 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to help replace damaged library books.

The school's aging library received replacement flooring and repairs to a leaking wall over the winter break. While moving furniture and books, parents and teachers discovered that water damage had caused mildew to spread throughout the 20-year-old book collection. The school's librarian and a parent applied for the grant because the Hamilton County Department of Education provides no funding for library materials in individual school budgets.

Donations also are being accepted to continue the library upgrade and fund the purchase of new technology. To donate to the cause, visit and look for the heading: "Take CSLA from the Moldy Page to the Digital Age."


Two Baylor School students are among 141 U.S. high school students to be named to the 48th class of Presidential Scholars.

Students Megan Huntsinger and Tyler Blackmon were selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by President Barack Obama, for their accomplishments in arts or academics.

Scholars are selected based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

"As national, state and local leaders work side by side with principals, teachers, and parents to make our schools better, we can learn from the students all around us whose hard work and accomplishments embody the kind of excellence we want every child to achieve," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Huntsinger and Blackmon will be recognized at a June ceremony in Washington, D.C. Each student also is invited to bring his or her most inspiring and challenging teacher to be honored at the event.

Huntsinger is a boarding student from Vestavia Hills, Ala., and will attend Vanderbilt University's school of engineering in the fall. Blackmon is a day student from Rising Fawn, Ga. who will attend Yale University.