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Metro Schools Announces New Leadership Support for Priority Schools

Metro Schools’ commitment to turning around low-performing schools moves forward with the hiring of two executive lead principals and a senior manager of school turnaround in the district’s Office of Priority Schools. They join the Interim Executive Officer for Priority Schools Dr. Dorothy Gunn in giving direct and dedicated support to principals and teachers at the district’s most persistently struggling schools.

The executive lead principals will be most hands-on with priority schools, helping supervise and act as direct liaisons with school leaders. Theirs will be a closely collaborative relationship while maintaining the principal autonomy granted to turnaround leaders in these schools.

The senior manager of school turnaround will take a more strategic, higher level approach, exploring the latest research and best practices in turnaround techniques while guiding application of these techniques to Metro’s 12 priority schools. The senior manager also facilitates coaching with the leadership team and administrative staff, making sure we design effective structures in place to help turnaround schools.

Adrienne Battle-Koger - Antioch High School (1)

Effective Feb. 29, Dr. Adrienne Battle Koger will serve as an executive lead principal for priority schools. Dr. Koger comes directly from Antioch High School, where she was executive principal. She has also served Metro students as a network lead principal, an assistant principal at Glencliff High School and a middle school teacher. Under Dr. Koger’s leadership, Antioch High School has made strong academic gains, including earning Reward School status in 2014. She transformed what was designated as a low-performing school in 2010 to a one of the fastest-growing schools in the state in just three years. Through her commitment to academic excellence, Antioch High School was designated a 2014 Tennessee Reward School for progress, which recognizes the top 5 percent of schools for progress or achievement in Tennessee. Through Dr. Koger’s leadership, the Academies of Antioch have increased in number and obtained the National Model Academy Accreditation. Dr. Koger brings focus and academic rigor as two of her major strengths to support priority schools. Dr. Koger is a Nashville native and alumni of Overton High School, holding a Doctorate of Education from Tennessee State University.


Effective March 7, David Kovach will also serve as an executive lead principal for priority schools. Kovach comes to Metro Schools from New Leaders for New Schools, where he was the senior director of training and implementation. At New Leaders, Kovach designed and delivered training and professional development for turnaround school principals. Kovach’s background also includes serving as a principal of a high-need, low-performing school on the west side of Chicago and attaining significant achievement gains within a four-year period. As the Director of K-12 Services for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Kovach helped the Tennessee Department of Education implement the state’s teacher evaluation system and oversaw Teacher Incentive Fund grant projects throughout the state. A former English teacher and soccer coach, Kovach earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Memphis and a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from National-Louis University.


Laura Middleton began serving as senior manager of school turnaround for priority schools on Feb. 10. With more than 12 years leadership experience as a principal, Middleton is a school turnaround leader with a track record of delivering results and attaining academic gains for underperforming schools with economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority populations. Middleton previously served as State Director for the National Center on Time and Learning, working with districts in Tennessee and across the United States to increase the knowledge and implementation of expanding learning time opportunities in schools. Middleton, a Nashville native, holds a master’s degree in English, and Curriculum and Instruction from Baylor University.