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Metro Schools names eight new lead principals

School-based leadership keeps power in the hands of principals to drive success further and faster

Metro Schools is expanding its leadership team, adding eight more lead principals to an already impressive roster of school-based leaders. With these additions, there are now 15 lead principals supervising all middle and high schools and half of the elementary schools in the district.

“These are the kinds of leaders we want more of in our schools,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “They have shown academic growth in their own students and built positive, supportive school cultures. We need their leadership, but we also don’t want to lose them to central office. It just makes sense to have them stay in their own schools while also spreading success to others.”

The lead principals supervise small networks of schools and their principals. They are responsible for accelerating progress by leading through example, evaluating principals and sharing effective practices. Those best practices will be replicated and adapted across schools in their networks.

The new lead principals are:

  • Sam Braden – JFK Middle Prep
  • Jeanna Collins – Oliver Middle Prep
  • Connie Gwinn – H.G. Hill Middle Prep
  • Jon Hubble – Apollo Middle Prep
  • Steven Breese – Westmeade Elementary School
  • Constance Hayes – Charlotte Park Elementary School
  • James Urquhart – Norman Binkley Elementary School
  • Patti Yon – Dan Mills Elementary School

They join seven other lead principals already in place across the district:

  • Steve Ball – East Nashville Magnet School
  • Kimber Halliburton – Harpeth Valley Elementary School
  • Terry Shrader – Hillsboro High School
  • Debra Smith – Jones Paideia Elementary School
  • Robbin Wall – McGavock High School
  • Bill Warren – The Academy at Old Cockrill
  • Clint Wilson – Glencliff High School

“The lead principal model is fostering a much greater collaborative culture in our schools,” said Clint Wilson. “It’s a ground-up approach that lets me build strong relationships with my colleagues where we’re working together to solve problems and drive student achievement. I love being a lead principal.”

Lead principals are chosen by application and careful review by a panel of district leaders. Candidates are required to show evidence of their successes in driving student achievement, teacher leadership and a positive school culture. Those are the skills that will push the district toward the ambitious goals outlined in Education 2018: Excellence for Every Student, the district’s five-year strategic plan.

“By taking what’s working and expanding it to more schools, we can accelerate the positive momentum we’ve built,” said Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele. “The school-based approach to leadership falls perfectly in line with the other ways we’ve given schools more flexibility in decision making. From hiring to budgeting and now direct principal supervision, we’re putting more power in the hands of our educators, where it can do the most good.”

All lead principals get extra money in their school budgets that can be used to pay for an additional assistant principal or other resources that will serve the students well. By 2015-16, every Metro school will be in a lead principal network.