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Group completes Principal Pipeline program
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Pictured with their Principal Pipeline certificates from the Warren County School System are, from left, Tenara Martin, Stephanie Davis, Jacob Dunn, Anna Geesling and Tia Medley. - photo by Lacy Garrison

Another cohort of Principal Pipeline fellows have completed the program, which includes Tenara Martin, Stephanie Davis, Jacob Dunn, Anna Geesling and Tia Medley.

Principal Pipeline is an initiative meant to transform the leadership of Tennessee schools by improving the preparation, retention and development of school principals.

Those currently in the program have taken on different leadership activities and gone to monthly meetings to work on skills to mentor other teachers. In addition, they’ve attended knowledge forums at Belmont University presented by Dr. Mike Rutherford, whose discussions ranged from what it is like to live a life of a principal, to time management and promoting teacher growth.

“It has been a really great day for our Principal Pipeline program here in Warren County,” said director of teaching and learning Autumn Turner. “Bobby and I got to go to Nashville today to share with six other Principal Pipeline programs throughout the state about what we’ve been doing in collaboration with our partner districts.” 

Added Director of Schools Bobby Cox, “That’s one of the things we wanted to do whenever the Pipeline grant came about was to have a cohort of prospective principals to choose from. We have 11 now and through this program, we don’t just throw them into principalship right out of the classroom but give them the opportunity to see what it is like to be in different schools and see the day-to-day operations.” 

Many of the members who have been through Principal Pipeline agreed that it was incredibly helpful in preparing for the role, including WCHS English Language Arts instructor Tia Medley.

“I think the best thing about Principal Pipeline is it creates a network of colleagues with the same goals and access to other principals for professional advice,” said Medley. “Also, we have been to many professional development sessions where we are actually in teachers’ classrooms, but we are in these classrooms as principals instead of the role of a teacher.”  

With two years left in the grant, Warren County has decided to go deeper with the training of the 11 Principal Pipeline fellows instead of adding 12 more to the program. That means both cohorts will continue to work together in their professional development.

Last year’s Principal Pipeline fellows are Todd Willmore, Haley Wood, Clark George, Brandy Wilcher, Rex Crabtree and Shea Panter.