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Photo courtesy of The Bright School/Kristin Baty Watts will be the next head of The Bright School

Kristin Baty Watts will be the next head of The Bright School, succeeding retiring Head of School O.J. Morgan, the school announced Oct. 1. She will start in her new role next summer.

Watts is now director of St. Anne's Day School and Enrichment Programs, based in Atlanta. St. Anne's enrolls children 12 months to fifth grade and offers a summer camp program.

She previously held posts at University Lake School in Hartland, Wisconsin, and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Watts earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish literature at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and her master's degree in human resource management at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.

Watts will be the 13th head of the school, founded in 1913 by progressive educator Mary G. Bright.

Watts' husband, Jay Watts, is the athletic director at Girls Preparatory School. Their daughter, Colby, will be a student at Bright next year, and her stepson, Campbell, is in high school.


East Ridge Elementary receives a music and arts grant

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Photo courtesy of Hamilton County Schools/East Ridge music teacher Charlene Cook applied for the grant.

Students at East Ridge Elementary will soon be playing soprano ukuleles as they received a $250 music and arts grant from insurance company California Casualty Management.

East Ridge music teacher Charlene Cook applied for the grant.

"Once a class set of 30 is obtained, my colleague James Glass and I will be able to teach ukulele to all the fifth-grade classes at East Ridge Elementary at the same time," Cook said in a news release. "In the past, we had to share a set of ukuleles, which greatly slows down the learning process. Imagine, once we can do programs again, 60 ukuleles all on one stage."

California Casualty's music and arts grant program receives applications year-round. Tennessee public K-12 schools can apply by visiting


Hamilton County tech coordinator named EdTech Magazine's Top 30 Tech Leaders to Follow

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Photo courtesy of Hamilton County Schools/Hamilton County Schools' coordinator of instructional technology Greg Bagby shares his knowledge of IT and educational technology with an audience of educators.

EdTech Magazine named Greg Bagby, Hamilton County Schools' coordinator of instructional technology, as one of the Top 30 K-12 Technology Leaders to Follow for 2020.

According to a news release from the school district, Bagby was selected among other educational professionals, including the savviest K–12 IT leaders, bloggers, podcasters and social media personalities.

The magazine is published by CDW, based in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

The former principal took on the responsibility of assessing students with online learning amid the pandemic. He earned Microsoft Innovative Educator Master Trainer status and is recognized as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

"The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic were a big part of technology challenges for educators in 2020. EdTech Magazine recognized the advances made by educators across the country this year. Still, in announcing their list of tech leaders to follow, the publication acknowledged the need to continue to learn new ways of using technology," the news release said.

Bagby said 2020 presented many challenges, including building teacher capacity to use the many tools needed to connect with their students who are learning remotely.

"Teaching the basic use of the tools has left little time for helping teachers and students really use EdTech well and design enriching and engaging activities," he added.


Gamma Pi Boulé Announces Winners of 2020 Paul A. McDaniel Scholarship

The Gamma Pi Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity awarded five Paul A. McDaniel scholarships to Southeast Tennessee high school seniors. All have been accepted to accredited four-year colleges or universities.

Scholarships were awarded through the Gamma Pi Boulé Foundation with the support of donors. This year sponsors included Parkridge East Hospital, Truist Bank, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Chattanooga Allergy Clinic, Dr. Elaine Swafford and John P. Franklin Funeral Home.

The awards are determined by the applicant's "basis of high character, superior academic achievement, leadership skills and a demonstrated willingness to use their talents for the betterment of society," according to a news release from the organization.

Wade Hinton, social action committee chair of Gamma Pi Boulé and vice president of inclusion and diversity at Unum Group, said the recipients "demonstrated high academic and leadership achievement as well as tremendous resilience in navigating both the pandemic and social unrest."

This year's winners are:

— Jordan Morris of the Chattanooga School for the Arts;

— Caleb Colvin of the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences;

— Jordan Culpepper of East Hamilton;

— Jeremiah Taylor of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, and

— Tariq Roundtree of the STEM School of Chattanooga.

The Sigma Pi Phi fraternity — also known as the "Boulé" — is the first and oldest African-American Greek-lettered organization. The fraternity began in 1904 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has 108 subordinate Boulés in the U.S. and the Bahamas.

The local organization is the Gamma Pi chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity.

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