Engaging students: District leaders provide vision for schools

Hamilton County Department of Education Interim Superintendent, Kirk Kelly (right), makes a point while Chief Academic Officer, Jill Levine, looks on. Members of the Hamilton County Department of Education visited the Chattanooga Times Free Press to discuss goals for the 2016 school year.

As the new school year is underway, the new leaders at the helm of Hamilton County Schools say the central office has a renewed focus on supporting schools and providing them with increased autonomy.

"We are here to support more than we're here to mandate," said Chief Academic Officer Jill Levine.

Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly appointed Levine to her role and the two have developed a team at the central office under the motto, "Engage every student. Every day."

The central office team shared its new strategic focus, which targets five areas, in a meeting with Times Free Press reporters and editors.

That starts with engaging students, Levine said.

"We are bringing back the joy of learning and teaching in ways that make students want to learn more," she said.