Tennessee Department of Education bus tour comes to Hamilton County Thursday, and other education news this week

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, left, looks on as Superintendent Bryan Johnson speaks during a Partnership Network Advisory board meeting at the Hamilton County Department of Education board room on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cleveland Middle School names new principal

Nathaniel Akiona will be the new principal at Cleveland Middle School, taking over the role as current principal Leneda Laing becomes supervisor of secondary education on July 1.

Akiona has taught in Bradley County and served as principal at several area schools including Michigan Avenue Elementary School, Walker Valley High School and North Lee Elementary School.

"Mr. Akiona brings many years of successful school administration to his new role as principal of Cleveland Middle School. He is widely respected as a school administrator across the Cleveland and Bradley County community, and I look forward to working with him to provide the best possible educational experience for the students at Cleveland Middle School," said Cleveland City Schools Director Russell Dyer in a statement.

Chattanooga State and Tech Goes Home offering summer course for 200 incoming freshmen

A total of 200 incoming Chattanooga State Community College freshmen from six Hamilton County high schools can participate in a Tech Goes Home course this summer and receive a Chromebook.

Recent graduates from Brainerd, East Ridge, Hixson, Howard, Red Bank and Tyner high schools who sign up for Chattanooga State's Camp Tiger program have the option to add a 15-hour course from Tech Goes Home.

"Many students enter ChattState without basic digital skills or a computer," said Tech Goes Home Program Manager Sammy Lowdermilk in a statement. "This new summer transition program will give about 200 students a needed device and the technical skills to succeed in college."

Enrollment in Camp Tiger and the course is free, and Camp Tiger provides other resources to help incoming students prepare for college, including food vouchers for campus dining and passes for public transportation.

The course is funded by the Benwood Foundation and Amerigroup.

Education commissioner coming to Hamilton County on Thursday

Commissioner Penny Schwinn will visit school districts in the Chattanooga area on Thursday as part of the department of education's Accelerating TN 2021 Summer Bus Tour.

The tour will stop at 50 school districts across the state this summer to observe summer learning camps and talk with district administrators.

Districts Schwinn will visit Thursday include schools in Etowah, Polk County, Bradley County, Cleveland and Hamilton County.

TNAchieves recruiting mentors for TN Promise applicants

TNAchieves aims to recruit 9,000 mentors for TN Promise applicants in the class of 2022.

Mentors serve as a resource to small groups of high school students as they transition to college, completing a one-hour online training session and receiving updates weekly. They also have access to TNAchieves CONNECT to work with students virtually.

"You cannot replace the committed, encouraging support offered by a local mentor," said TNAchieves executive director Krissy DeAlejandro in a statement. "Through the challenges of the past year, we have been grateful to our volunteers across the state who answered the call to ensure students successfully transition to college and feel seen. While TN Promise funding is important, mentors represent the heart of our program."

Mentor applications can be found on the TNAchieves website.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at achaturvedi@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.