UT Educational Leadership Center to Facilitate Tennessee Rural Managers Network

The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been selected by the Tennessee Department of Education to lead and facilitate the Tennessee Rural Principals Network 2020. Recipient of a grant of $ 250,000 for Supporting the network, CEL has partnered with U.S. research institutes to deliver an intensive one-year collaborative professional learning experience to a cohort of 54 volunteer rural school principals from across the state.

Selected principals will participate in six one-day in-person professional learning sessions in Middle Tennessee throughout 2020. Attendees will be supported by focused leadership coaching and engage in ongoing professional dialogue through small virtual conversations called Mastermind Groups.

“The power of this network is in the principles,” said Jim McIntyre, director of the center. “Participants will learn from each other and tackle difficult issues related to public education in the rural context. We plan to very intentionally create a professional support network for these remarkable school leaders, which will help improve and strengthen rural education across the state.

Jim. McIntyre, Jr., director of the Center for Educational Leadership, works in the centre’s office inside the Bailey Education Complex on February 3, 2020. Photo by Steven Bridges / University of Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn have made rural education a top priority. This is the second cohort of directors selected for the prestigious Tennessee Rural Principals Network. With support from the State Collaboration on Educational Reform, the Center for Educational Leadership also facilitated a second-year learning experience for the first cohort.

The Center for Educational Leadership began in 2010 as a collaborative effort between the University of Tennessee and local public school districts to develop and support the next generation of outstanding school leaders in our region and to improve significant educational leadership in Tennessee.


Brian Canever (865-974-0937, bcanever@utk.edu)

Jules Morris (865-719-7072, julesmo@utk.edu)

Janice G. Ball