Developing Academic Coaches

In fall 2019, the Niswonger Consortium of School Systems in Northeast Tennessee (TN Consortium) was among four districts to be selected to partner with New Teacher Center (NTC) to implement a high-quality, standards-aligned instructional coaching (IC) program made possible by a $12.8 million grant from the Department of Education’s Education, Innovation and Research (EIR) Expansion program received by the New Teacher Center.

New Teacher Center is a national non-profit organization committed to disrupting the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students to ensure every student, from preschool through high school, receives an excellent and equitable education that empowers them to reach their full potential in classrooms, communities, and beyond.

Program Goals

The goal of this program is to improve the effectiveness of teachers via job-embedded coaching and advance the learning of K-12 students in high-need rural and urban school districts

Program Implementation

The Niswonger Consortium has 68 schools who have elected to participate in this program. Thirty-four of those are in the treatment group for this year and will receive direct support. Those schools represent elementary, middle, and high schools.

There are 61 participating individuals from the 34 schools/districts. Most participants are current classroom teachers who will be receiving training and experiences to foster their development as an academic coach for their teaching peers. Some participants are already serving in an academic coaching role at their school and/or district. Those individuals will receive support, which will enhance their current coaching skills. Participant coaching includes areas such as, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, or Science, with a focus on working with teachers in grades 4-9.

Training in the goals and implementation strategies are provided to principals enrolled in the program for the upcoming year, and for teachers/academic coaches as they implement coaching strategies with their peers. The lead coaches work with the teachers to help them implement effective practices.

Meet the Developing Academic Coaches Team

Dr. Allison Seeley
ELA Project Director/Lead Coach
Dr. Sherry Cockerham
Math Project Director/Lead Coach

    The Niswonger Foundation was established in 2001 to make a positive and sustainable difference in education in Northeast Tennessee. This dream was envisioned by Scott M. Niswonger, who founded Landair Transport, Inc. and Forward Air Corporation. These companies were the first two Greeneville-based companies to be taken public in the history of Greene County, Tennessee. Jointly, the companies have combined annual revenue of over one-billion-dollars and employ more than 5000 people.


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