With one calling it a “dream come true,” eight educators from Williamson County Schools are taking big steps forward in their careers with their acceptance into a special program.
According to the district’s newsletter InFocus, those being accepted into the Aspiring Assistant Principals Network are Sunset Elementary teacher Donna Reels, Crockett Elementary teacher Stephanie Higgs, Independence High teacher Laura Kim, Ravenwood High teacher Fanrong Kong, Page High teacher Sarah Grace Sparks, K-12 Response to Intervention Curriculum specialist Kayla Fraley, WCS Online Academic Dean Holly Coblentz and Math 6-12 specialist Laura.
“This is truly a dream come true,” Fraley said. “No matter where I am led, I am passionate about pursuing the learning that comes from an educational leadership program such as this one and excited to plug in and learn.”
Tennessee State University received a grant from the Tennessee Department of Education to fund the program and conduct a one-year, master's degree level training in instructional leadership.
"I am a lifelong learner and look forward to the opportunity to be around like-minded educators,” Hall said. "I'm excited to use what I learn in this program in my current role. Having a degree in administration can only add to my accomplishments and fulfill requirements for any and all opportunities that come my way."
As part of the process, those who are accepted into the program will shadow a current assistant principal in the district.
"I'll get to learn about their day-to-day operations and experiences," said Sparks. "After teaching for the past five years at Page High, my love for education has grown deeper. This gives me a chance to expand my knowledge, and I'm excited to learn what this program teaches me about myself and my personal desires.”
Participants will also have the opportunity to build professional relationships and collaborate with their peers around the state.
"There are so many amazing opportunities in the AAPN," Coblentz said. "The faculty and administrative leaders they have selected to mentor us at TSU are experts in their field, passionate about what they do and love to share it with others."
The AAPN is designed to support school districts by providing access to instructional leadership programs. TSU will recommend participants for an Instructional Leader License - Aspiring, which allows them to serve in the assistant principal role while still earning their master's degree.