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CCSD Program Prepares Teachers for School Leadership Roles

CCSD Program Prepares Teachers for School Leadership Roles

The Cherokee County School District offers an annual program to prepare teachers for future leadership roles.

The Superintendent’s Leadership Academies (SLA) initiative gives teachers, support staff and school and district leaders the opportunity for professional development through various classes for different leadership experience levels.  The SLA I teacher leader class is a year-long program for classroom teachers, school counselors and other certified educational staff designed to encourage professional growth and to identify future assistant principals and other school and district leaders.  

Participants attend sessions with the Superintendent of Schools, his senior staff and other district leaders.  Through the program, participants gain a better understanding of overall school and district operations from student discipline decisions to district budget development to best hiring practices.  While not a required step for advancement, the majority of teachers appointed to serve as assistant principals or in other school and district leadership roles are graduates of Superintendent’s Leadership Academies.

“Our leadership academy programs serve two incredibly important purposes: to grow our own leaders for the future success of our schools and district and to provide opportunities for continued learning, professional growth and advancement for our employees,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “We’re grateful each year to welcome our new class of teacher leaders, as we know it’s a commitment of their time and energy above and beyond their daily role.  We look forward to seeing them complete the program in the spring and all they will achieve for our school district.”

Participants apply to participate in the program, which is coordinated by Chief Operations Officer Dr. Debra Murdock, and class selections are made based on applications and references.

“I am so grateful for the district’s continued investment in the Superintendent’s Leadership Academies.  The SLA experience promotes our outstanding teachers and leaders with the opportunities to build their professional efficacy and provides coaching and support for career advancement,” Dr. Murdock said.  “Thank you to our SLA participants who are committed to professional growth!”

This year’s Superintendent’s Leadership Academy I teacher leader class is made up of: 

Aimee Adams , Special Education facilitator, Dean Rusk MS
David Armistead, social studies teacher, Etowah HS
Nicole Bayler, fourth-grade teacher, Sixes ES
Brandon Boehman, social studies teacher, Etowah HS
Marcia Bottoms, eighth-grade math teacher, Dean Rusk MS
Lisa Burns, instructional lead strategist, Dean Rusk MS
Jennifer Cowart, second-grade teacher, Avery ES
Jennifer Dupoux, 504 chair/Response to Intervention (RTI) facilitator/testing coordinator, Hasty ES Fine Arts Academy
Lisa Funderburk, instructional lead strategist, Etowah HS
Jason Garner, eighth-grade science teacher, Woodstock MS
Jonathan Harrison, social studies teacher, Creekview HS
Jessica Jones, Early Intervention Program teacher/RTI coordinator, Sixes ES
Cody Lamanac, 504 chair/in-school suspension teacher, Teasley MS
Zach Lawson, social studies teacher, Sequoyah HS
Jessica Magardo, fourth-grade teacher, R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy
Katherine Malloy, fifth-grade teacher, R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy
Angie Mason, second-grade teacher, Avery ES
Laurie McArthur, Special Education co-teacher, Woodstock ES
Teleah McTeer, English literature composition teacher, Creekland MS
Melinda Meadow, behavior intervention strategist, CCSD Office of School Operations
Rita Modrzynski, professional development specialist, CCSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Kristin Mondich, fifth-grade teacher, Knox ES STEM Academy
Katie Murphy, Special Education facilitator, Little River ES
Hillary Nichols, school counselor, i-Grad Virtual Academy
Nathan Ogle, 504/RTI coordinator, teacher and golf coach, Woodstock HS
Kacie Reed, instructional lead strategist, Avery ES
Matthew Renney, math teacher and lacrosse coach, Creekview HS
Madison Shlyakhetko, English teacher, Mill Creek MS
Brittany Stallings, fifth-grade teacher, Johnston ES
Amanda Stewart, Special Education teacher, R.M. Moore ES STEM Academy
Cody Thomas, Special Education teacher, Macedonia ES
Dana Thompkins, Special Education facilitator, Avery ES
Patrick Walker, behavior intervention strategist, CCSD Office of School Operations
Julie Wilt-Winfield, health/PE teacher and volleyball coach, River Ridge HS