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Center for Educational LeadershipKNOXVILLE—The Leadership Academy has announced its next cohort class for 2012-2013.

A collaborative venture between the University of Tennessee and the Knox County Schools, the Leadership Academy prepares talented individuals to become outstanding new school principals through a full-time, intensive fifteen-month fellowship program. The program is supported through both an anonymous gift and partially through Tennessee’s First to the Top funding. The class will begin work on May 31.

The Leadership Academy is a part of the Center for Educational Leadership, housed in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the UT College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

“While we are fortunate to have strong principal leadership in our school district, our partnership with the University of Tennessee helps us to become more deliberate about identifying and developing the next generation of effective school leaders in the Knox County Schools,” said Jim McIntyre, superintendent of the Knox County Schools.

“This is so exciting to see the Leadership Academy grow to more than thirty fellows. We are starting to see results with fellows who have been placed in schools in terms of student achievement, school culture, and faculty involvement. The bottom line is that this program works and great leaders equal great schools,” said Autumn Cyprès, director of the Center for Educational Leadership.

The 2012-2013 cohort class includes:

  • Byron Booker—Central High School English as a second language teacher, lead teacher, TEAM evaluator, 2011-2012 Tennessee Teacher of the Year
  • Windy Clayton—South-Doyle Middle School assistant principal
  • Casey Cutter—Ball Camp Elementary School fourth-grade teacher
  • Laicee Hatfield—Central High School science teacher, lead teacher, TEAM evaluator
  • Tina Miller Holt—West Haven Elementary School TAP master teacher
  • Desiree Odom Jones—Austin-East Magnet High School TAP master teacher
  • Nathan Langlois—Powell High School assistant principal, athletic director
  • Kathryn Marie Lutton—Fulton High School English teacher
  • Jessica Schaefer Ruiz—Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School TAP master teacher
  • Tiffany Watkins—Hardin Valley Elementary School first grade teacher, KCS mentor teacher

Leadership Academy Fellows will spend four days a week working in a school with an experienced mentor principal. The fifth day will be spent in coursework and seminars with professors and expert practitioner partners.

To complete the program, students will participate in a project that will integrate their learning across the many curricular areas of the academy. It will include an electronic portfolio documenting the student’s proficiency in school leadership and a public presentation about the fifteen-month experience. Fellows will graduate from the program with a master’s or education specialist degree and a state principal license.

For photos and more information about the fellows, visit the Knox County Schools website.

C O N T A C T S :

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Melissa Copelan (865-594-1905,