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 (NTC) 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 Developing Academic Coaches (DAC) 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 elected to participate in this program. Those schools represent elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Northeast Tennessee.  Many participants are classroom teachers who receive training and experiences to foster their development as a mentor for their teaching peers.  Some participants are already serving in an academic coaching role at their school and/or district.  With the support of our NTC partners, DAC provides quarterly sessions regarding effective coaching/mentoring strategies and practice.  They also receive support and the opportunity to collaborate with other coaches/mentors participating in this grant during these sessions, enhancing their current coaching skills.

In addition, many participating coaches serve in districts that are members of Niswonger’s Comprehensive Educational Resources (CER) and have the opportunity to collaborate quarterly with DAC, other CER coaches, and school/district leaders participating in curriculums that are being implemented during the 2023-24 school year as well as curriculum specific math PD.

Meet the Developing Academic Coaches Team

Dr. Allison Seeley
Developing Academic Coaches ELA Project Director/Lead Coach
Dr. Sherry Cockerham
Developing Academic Coaches 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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