In keeping with itsbelief that great public schools help create thriving communities, McKenzie Foundation has made its largest single investment to date: a $117,000 grant to PEF to partner with the Hamilton County Department of Education to create a plan for a leadership development pipeline for teachers and leaders in Hamilton County public schools.
“Our foundation wants all students to have the opportunity for a world-class education,” states Johnny Smith, executive director of McKenzie Foundation. “We believe this starts with schools having great leaders.”
This gift will support a six-month planning period for HCDE, PEF, and community and business stakeholders to develop a comprehensive leadership development plan for the school district. “It has always been my goal to create a pathway for our educators to have the support and training they need to become great leaders of schools. This investment enables us to be thoughtful about the process, build on the good work that is already happening, and get input from education, business, and community thought leaders,” said Rick Smith, HCDE Superintendent.
McKenzie Foundation has long been a quiet investor in PEF and leadership development programs, including the Principal Leadership Academy. This new gift will build on the PLA and other leadership development work already happening in Hamilton County. Additionally, the planning period will include evaluation of what current professional development opportunities are effective, what components are missing, and evaluate the best way to deliver training to teacher and leaders.
“Research shows that high-performing schools have great leaders. Rather than looking for a silver bullet, the McKenzie Foundation is helping to build capacity within our school system. By investing in a plan that supports people within the schools, they are helping to find sustainable solutions for transforming public education,” said Dan Challener, PEF President.