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KNOXVILLE — Talented educators who aspire to be principals in the Knox County Schools are encouraged to apply to be a part of the next cohort of the Leadership Academy, a collaborative effort between the Knox County Schools and the University of Tennessee.

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

The program will run from June 1, 2011, through July 2012. The rigorous 15-month experience is intended to significantly shorten the learning curve for the increasingly complex and demanding job of school principal.

“Great principals create great schools,” said Dr. Jim McIntyre, superintendent of the Knox County Schools. “While we are fortunate to have strong principal leadership in our schools, the Leadership Academy allows us to continue to develop an exceptional pipeline of talent that will ultimately serve as the next generation of effective school leaders in the Knox County Schools.”

Teachers, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, counselors, assistant principals and others with educational experience and instructional knowledge are encouraged to apply. Applicants should aspire to be a school principal in the Knox County Schools within the next one to five years.

Leadership Academy fellows graduate with a master’s degree or education specialist degree and Tennessee principal license.

Those completing the program are not guaranteed principal jobs but will be very competitive candidates for the openings. For the past several years, Knox County has hired approximately five to 10 new principals per year, as well as a number of assistant principals.

Fellows receive free tuition and are paid as an assistant principal while serving as a Leadership Academy Fellow. In return, they must commit to working in the Knox County Schools for at least three years after finishing the program.

During the first summer, Leadership Academy fellows will be full-time UT students. Fellows will be placed in a Knox County school for the academic year, spending four days a week with a mentor principal, learning instructional leadership hands-on. The fifth day will be spent in coursework and seminars at UT with both professors and practitioners learning the theory and research associated with effective educational leadership. The second summer will be spent completing capstone courses meant to culminate the experience.

The Leadership Academy is one of the components of the Center for Educational Leadership, part of UT’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The center is funded through a private donor and the Cornerstone Foundation. Race to the Top federal funding is also expected to help support the Leadership Academy.

For more about the Leadership Academy and to find an application form, visit or

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,